Ridge Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley East Bench 2009

Winemaker's Notes:

2009 vintage red Zinfandel Wine by Ridge from USA

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Ridge Vineyards:
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), 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... Read more
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), 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 and his three partners, 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. The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel. The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres. Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity. By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership. A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile's coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist. His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward "hands off" approach pioneered at Ridge. Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established. Cabernet and zinfandel account for most of the production; syrah, grenache, carignane, and petite sirah constitute a small percentage. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962. Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991. A quarter century's experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground. Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit's distinctive character and richness into the wine. Read less
Suggested Recipe Pairing presented by
Coconut Rice Sweet Potato Cheesecake

RiceSelect's creamy Arborio gets blended with sweet potato, coconut milk and vanilla to create this decadent cheesecake. Pairs well with Saunternes; a white dessert wine that has hints of coconut from aging in oak barrels.

View Recipe

Member Reviews for Ridge Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley East Bench

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Snooth User: Eric Guido
92549168,585
3.50 5
10/15/2011

The nose showed red wild berries, a dusting of cinnamon sugar, hints of minerals and herbs, and a whiff of dark baker’s chocolate. On the palate, it was beautifully balanced and elegant with a firm start and juicy finish. Ripe red and blue fruits went from sweet to tart as it flowed across the palate. The finish was long and spicy.


Snooth User: Onin24eagle
1012672596
4.00 5
01/25/2012

A little black cherry and dark chocolate on the nose. Hint of blackberry. Nice cherry and a little raisin on the palate. I find if I sip it slowly and let it linger for a bit the raisin stands out a bit more. All in all very nice. For the price though I've found a few others that are just as good for half the cost. I've had some Marietta's that I found very similar. In fact that was my first thought upon my very first taste. I've had quite a few Marietta Old Vine Reds that taste almost exactly like this, and considering that I can get one of those for $10 I'd have to say that I'd almost give that a higher rating. The wine itself is quite good, I just feel that you're paying more for the name on the label with this one. My rating is based entirely on the quality of the wine, but if price were also a consideration I'd probably drop it by one glass.


Snooth User: Steven Isaac
232614201
4.00 5
11/05/2011

I really like this bottle. Needs to be decanted just a little before drinkink. It shapes up very nicely. It's got a plum purple color. Smell is simple - spicy & light fruit. Initial attack: it sticks to the front of your toungue and rolls back tartly into a spicy long finsh which continues thoughout. This would be awsome with some steamed spinach and steak.


External Reviews for Ridge Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley East Bench

External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

Deep red. Sweet dark berry and kirsch scents are complicated by musky herbs, dried flowers and minerals, with a suave undercurrent of oak spice contributing sweetness. Powerful cassis and bitter cherry flavors are firmed by youthful tannins, which add grip to the finish. Possesses the focus, balance and concentration to repay a decade or more in the cellar.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

Deep ruby-red. Vivid red and dark berry aromas are complemented by dusty floral and mineral notes, with a suave rose quality gaining power with air. Deep cassis and bitter cherry flavors are energized by tangy minerality, picking up exotic floral pastille and candied licorice nuances on the back end. Smooth and sweet, with fine-grained tannins and a long, sappy finish. This is balanced to reward at least another five to seven years of patience.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

Bright spice drives through the complex dark fruit of this old-vine blend, which includes petite sirah (16 percent) and carignane (4). Therersquo;s some funk to it that reads like Brett, but it hasnrsquo;t taken over the wine. The zesty acidity makes it more versatile than most zins, especially with roast turkey or duck with cherries.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

A zesty spice bomb of a Zinfandel, with boysenberry, ripe cherry, licorice and roasted herb notes and long, deep flavors that build toward firm, cedary tannins on the finish. Best from 2008 through 2012.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

Excellent structure, with tight, mineral-edged tannins and a core of zesty wild berry and black cherry flavors that are firm and concentrated. Itrsquo;s almost Bordeaux-like in its balance and restraint. Drink now through 2009.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

One of the most famous names in Zinfandel-land is Lytton Springs, and Ridgersquo;s 2002 Lytton Springs (75% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah, and 5% Carignan) boasts a deep ruby/purple hue along with a big, sweet nose of briery, blueberry, and blackberry fruit, full body, good acidity, and notions of pepper, loamy earth, and licorice. While this beauty will undoubtedly last a decade, it should be at its finest over the next 5ndash;6 years.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

This starts with the sweetness of Dry Creek zin, with plush, candied red fruit that turns savory as tannins darken the wine into the finish. It ends with lovely briskness, a fine balance between the fruit sweetness and the tannin. With age, the earthy complexities of the wine should evolve.


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