Ridge 2011 Paso Robles Zinfandel

2011 Paso Robles Zinfandel bottle shot

2011 Zinfandel, Paso Robles, bottled December 2012
100% zinfandel
Paso Robles AVA
14.5% alcohol by volume

Winemaker Eric Baugher's Notes (Back Label) - Despite a small crop on the ninety-year-old Dusi vineyard, another cool growing season delayed harvest by a month. To enhance extraction of color and tannin, skins were held submerged during fermentation. The press was included for additional structure and complexity. Malolactic finished early, and the wine was in barrel by mid-November. For clarity, it was racked off its lees quarterly. This fruit-forward, approachable zinfandel will be at its best over the next four to six years. EB (10/12)

Tasting Notes - Garnet color; cherry, strawberry-rhubarb, oak spice; sweet bramble entry, medium body, soft tannins, balanced acid, attractive oak, approachable, medium-length to finish. EB (1/13)

Video Tasting Note

Presented by winemaker Eric Baugher

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Information on other vintages: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001


The Benito Dusi Ranch is the only vineyard in the Central Coast Viticultural Area from which we source grapes. Our Monte Bello vineyards are in the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Area which is not in the Central Coast. The 1967 vintage was our first wine from this vineyard. It was planted to zinfandel in 1922 which is unusual because Prohibition had started two years earlier. Purchased by Sylvester and Catarina Dusi in 1924, the property has been farmed since the 1940s by their son Benito, the owner.


Paso Robles map

First RIDGE Paso Robles: 1967
Location: Benito Dusi's Vineyard is located three miles south of Paso Robles on the east side of Highway 101.
Elevation: 760' (230 m.)
Soils: Rocky and gravelly with areas of light soil
Age of vines: Zinfandel, 40 acres, planted 1922
Training: Head trained (no trellis), spur pruned
Climate: Hot days, cool nights.
Exposure: Full exposure in all directions
Owner: Benito Dusi
Yields: 1.5 to 2.0 tons/acre
Farming: Sustainably farmed

Aerial View - Paso Robles - Benito Dusi Ranch

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GPS coordinates: 35° 35' 12.51" N, 120° 41' 12.84" W
Note: there is no tasting room in Paso Robles. To learn more about visiting Ridge Vineyards, click here.

Growing Season

Paso Robles soil

Rainfall: 18 inches (average)
Bloom: Mid May
Weather: Spring frost reduced crop, dry summer and fall.


Harvest Dates: 17 - 23 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.4°
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation. 62% submerged cap; pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (19% new, 32% two years old, 35% three and four years old, and 14% five years old)
Aging: Twelve months in barrel


Benito Dusi Vineyard grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. A total of 1.4 percent rehydration (added to one fermentor during fermentation). Minimum effective sulfur (35ppm at crush, 90 ppm over the course of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.


Bottle UPC Packaged SRP Notes
750mL 744442861002 12x750mL $30 60 cases/pallet (15 per layer)


SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)


  • Wine Spectator Wine Spectator (31 October 2013): "Nicely briary and distinctive, with tart cherry, underbrush and spicy mineral aromas that lead to layered, vibrant flavors of wild berry, toasty dill and fennel. Drink now through 2020."-Tim Fish (Rated: 91)
  • California Grapevine California Grapevine (Vol. 39, June 2013): "Medium-dark purplish ruby color; attractive, forward, intense, briary, toasty, black and red berry fruit aroma with hints of tobacco, bacon fat, and licorice; full body; rich, ripe, briary, slightly jammy, berry fruit flavors with herbal notes; lingering aftertaste. Developed with airing in the glass. Very highly recommended."
    (Group Score: 16.3 of 20 points, 4 of 13 first-place votes/3 seconds/0 thirds; My Score: 17 (91/100), fourth place)