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east bench

Ride it

Ridge 2006 Zinfandel East Bench (Sonoma County) – 14.9%. Chunky and difficult, which is probably just a stage; this has been much more expressive in the recent past, and there’s no sign that this is falling apart yet. What’s showing now is dust, both the mineralistic and dried-berry kind, with a resinous texture and several dashes of coconutty oak…though the latter is rounding into something more vanilla-y. I’d say this needs a few more years to come out of its shell, but other bottles may perform differently. (5/11)

Riding the Bench

[vat]Ridge 2006 Zinfandel East Bench (Dry Creek Valley) – 14.9%. Pure essence of Dry Creek – just like the text on the label promises – and quite wonderfully restrained in its post-harvest packaging. Wild, vine-y berries, twisted and gnarled, swirl on the palate. There’s a very light bit of coconut, but this wine is mostly about its fruit, which is concentrated but not overly intense. There’s light but balanced structure for medium-term ageability. Delicious. (12/08)