Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.
The July Zinfandel of the Month is the 2015 Ridge Zinfandel East Bench.
Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1959 when three Stanford Research Institute engineers bought an abandoned winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The vineyards had been planted in the late 19th century by a San Francisco physician who produced his first vintage in the original winery, called Monte Bello, in 1892. The first Ridge vintage was in 1962. Ridge makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Rhone style wines.
When I first became interested in Zinfandel the buzz was always around the Three R’s of Zinfandel: Ravenswood, Rosenblum and Ridge. 25 years later Ridge is still at the top of its game, turning out single vineyard Zinfandel from some of California’s most precious vineyards.
Ridge has made the East Bench as a single-site Zinfandel since 2006, one of only two Ridge Zins that is 100% Zinfandel. The vineyard sits high atop the bench land that overlooks Dry Creek Valley from the east.
Magenta in color. 14.7% ABV. Brooding nose of black fruits, pepper and granite. Full bodied with mouth watering acidity. Plush, rich and savory. Blackberry, mulberry, raspberry liqueur and pepper on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long with gritty tannins. Lots to like here and about the 2015 Ridge Zinfandel lineup in general. Drink over the next 5-7 years.
My rating: 92 points.
This wine is fairly priced at about $30 and a worthy addition to the wine cellar.
Ridge is an annual winner in the Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.
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