2010 Ridge Vineyards "East Bench" Dry Creek Zinfandel

SKU #1089169 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Ridge’s 2010 Zinfandel East Bench is strikingly beautiful. It is 100% Zinfandel, so varietal nuance is at the forefront. Sweet red cherries, freshly cut flowers and spices waft from the glass in this gorgeous offering. The tannins are still quite firm, but this will be a great wine once the tannins soften. Crystalline notes add a fabulous element of purity on the finish. If anything, the August heat spikes were a help rather than a hindrance here. At $28 a bottle, the East Bench is one of the great values in American wine and a true standout at any price. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.  (8/2012)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque violet color. Cherry-vanilla and blueberry aromas are complicated by notes of mocha, cola and peppery spices. Broad, fleshy and sweet on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering sweet black and blue fruit qualities and a suave floral pastille nuance. Youthfully firm tannins add shape and grip to a long, intensely perfumed finish.  (5/2012)

K&L Notes

Ridge has been producing the "East Bench" Zinfandel since 2006, made from fruit sourced from this vineyard situated on the eastern bench of the ridge overlooking Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley. All estate fruit, all hand-harvested and fermented naturally using native yeasts, the 2010 was aged for thirteen months in 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new). It exhibits classic Dry Creek plum and briary aromas and flavors, with puff pastry and baking spice accents. It is richly layered and full in the mouth, with concentrated fruit flavors, along with earthy, herbal undertones that come forward with air. The finish is intense and spicy.

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Price: $34.99
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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 15.2