Ridge East Bench Zinfandel
Ridge East Bench Zinfandel has a nose of raspberry jam, pepper, violets. Full bodied and rich on the palate with red berry fruit and supple tannins. Firm acidity and mineral notes add to the long, elegant finish.
Ridge has made the East Bench as a single-site zinfandel since 2006. One of only two Ridge Zinfandels that is entirely from the single varietal. The vineyard sits high atop the bench land that overlooks Dry Creek Valley from the east.
Harvest Dates: 30 August – 24 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.7˚
Fermentation: Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; twice daily pump-overs; pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 40% one and two years old, 30% three and four years old and 10% five years old)
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Hand harvested; sustainably farmed, estate-grown organic grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.27 % water addition during fermentation; oak from barrel aging; 0.14 g/L tartaric acid; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 145 ppm during aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with teir philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge’s production facility. At 2600′, it is surrounded by the “upper vineyard.”
In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines — now the “middle vineyard”— new owners Dave Bennion, Hew Crane, Charlie Rosen, and Howard Ziedler, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of “estate” cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California’s finest wines of the era. Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and ’61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. Dave Bennion left his role at S.R.I. to oversee winemaking duties full time.
Ridge East Bench Zinfandel – Hay Wines
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