93pts Jeb Dunnuck
All Zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley, the 2018 Zinfandel East Bench offers up a great, pure, medium to full-bodied style that carries lots of classic spice, brambly herbs, incense, and plum-laced fruits. Nicely balanced, structured, and with solid length, this terrific Zinfandel will be even better with a year in bottle and keep for a decade.
93pts Wine & Spirits
Not far from Ridge’s Lytton Springs, East Bench was planted to vines in the 19th century, though those vines were abandoned in the early 20th. Nearly 100 years on, the team at Ridge started replanting the site, using cuttings selected at four vineyards planted before Prohibition. David Gates farms it as he does Ridge’s historic mixed plantings, the vines head trained and spur pruned. John Olney made this wine from vines planted in 2000 and 2001, creating a plump and delicious zinfandel emphasizing cozy fruit richness and firm tannins. It is exuberant, a pleasure to drink, while holding enough tension to make it a cellar candidate.
92pts Wine Spectator
Appealingly old-school and just rustic enough to highlight the vibrant, briary wild berry flavors, laced with dried sage and licorice notes, building tension toward lively tannins. Drink now through 2028.
Raspberry, fig with notes of vanilla on the nose. Flavors of plum and black olive give way to well coated tannins and black olive in the lingering finish.
Pairs well with roasted pork tenderloin with blue cheese potatoes or a wine country tri tip.