Ridge East Bench 2014 Zinfandel, $25.49-$29.99, 92 points, is being compared and contrasted unceremoniously and blasphemously with my last wine (Poggio San Polo 2011 Brunello Di Montalcino): where the Brunello was red colors with a well-defined transparent wine ring and sticky draping on the glass wall, the Ridge was tinted with violet, and the glass wall was more sheeted.
Instead of succulent flora on the nose, the delightful Ridge aromas were dried and ground herbs: cinnamon, cloves, and a gentle potpourri.
Though both were medium-bodied with fine supportive tannins, those of the Ridge were softer, and though the acidity of the Ridge wasn't as mouthwatering, it was appropriate and perfect with my baby-back ribs.
The Brunello was sophisticated, and the Zinfandel was rightly wild with blackberries, young mulberries, black licorice, and espresso.
Both finished long or their respective palates and a comparable (Ridge 14.9%) alcohol levels, but where the Brunello was inspirited spice, the Zinfandel was driven by that spiciness.
Civilized over barbarian? Maybe, but just by a couple of long hairs.
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