2016 Ridge Vineyards "East Bench" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1353994 94 points Vinous

 The 2016 Zinfandel East Bench is supported by bright acids that give the wine the tension and energy that are typical of Dry Creek. Primary sweet red and purplish berry fruit notes are pushed forward in this vibrant, beautifully delineated pure Zinfandel. Readers may want to cellar the 2016 for a few years, as it is tightly wound today, but all the elements are impeccably balanced. The East Bench abuts the Syrah block at Lytton Springs. Put simply: what a wine! (AG)  (8/2018)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Zinfandel East Bench offers up classic aromas of blackberry, cherry pit, warm spices and licorice. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, with velvety tannins, an ample core of succulent fruit and lovely balance. Generous and structurally open-knit, this is already delicious, but it should be well worth following for the next 8 years or more. (WK)  (5/2018)

91 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Coming from the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma and made from 100% Zinfandel, the 2016 Zinfandel East Bench is a classic, perfumed, elegant example of this variety. Black raspberries, blueberries, incense, peppery spice, and potpourri notes all emerge from the glass and it's medium-bodied, nicely balanced, and seamless on the palate, with a tight, elegant texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. Give bottles a year or two and it should keep for a decade.  (6/2018)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Offers an appealing briary structure accented by bright cherry, smoky dill and pepper flavors that linger on the crisp finish. Drink now through 2024. (TF, Web Only-2018)

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Price: $29.95

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Zinfandel

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.
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).