Ridge 2012 Paso Robles Zinfandel
2012 Zinfandel, Paso Robles, bottled December 2013
Paso Robles AVA
14.8% alcohol by volume
Winemaker Eric Baugher's Notes (Back Label) -
Beni Dusi's ninety-year-old vineyard ripened
block by block from September 5 through
October 16. The grapes were destemmed,
crushed, and pumped to tanks fitted with grids
that hold the skins submerged. Natural-yeast
fermentations were slow, delaying pressing until
day ten. Malolactics, however, finished quickly,
allowing assemblage, and an early rack to barrel
to begin aging. For natural clarification, we racked
quarterly as the lees settled. This classic,
warm-region zinfandel is enjoyable now. It will be
at its best over the next five to six years. EB (9/13)
Tasting Notes - Deep garnet color. Aromas of ripe black cherry,
plum, toasted oak, caramel. On entry: mincemeat, plum, old-vine pepper spice.
Firm acid, defined tannins in an intense finish. -Eric Baugher (1/14)
Video Tasting Note
Presented by winemaker Eric Baugher
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.
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.
Rainfall: 12 inches (below average)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Almost ideal conditions, dry summer and fall.
Harvest Dates: 5 September - 6 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.5°
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation.
100% submerged cap; pressed at ten days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new,
7% two years old, 34% three and 34 % four years old)
Aging: Eleven 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 1.3 percent rehydration (added
to two of seven fermentors during fermentation). Minimum effective
sulfur (35ppm at crush, 113ppm over the course of aging). Oak from
barrel aging. Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy
of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
||60 cases/pallet (15 per layer)
SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)
California Grapevine (Vol. 40, June 2014):
"Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, ripe red and dark
berry fruit aroma with briary notes and hints of dill and mint;
full body; briary, spicy, dark cherry and raspberry fruit flavors
with good depth and 44 balance; medium-full to full tannin;
lingering aftertaste. Enjoyable to drink now. Very highly
(Group Score: 16.3 of 20 points, 2/5/2; My
Score: 17 (91/100), third place)
Wine Spectator Insider (16 April 2014):
"An old-school style, briary and full of zesty fruit. The aromas of
bright cherry, grilled herb and fresh earth lead to smoky plum and
cracked pepper flavors that linger toward ripe tannins. Drink now
through 2020."-Tim Fish (Rated: 90)
Wine Enthusiast (June 2014) -
"This 100% Zin comes from one of Paso Robles' most famous vineyards. The
briary blackbeery and mulberry flavors are very ripe, verring into chcolate-covered
raisins. Although the alcohol is high, the wine pulls it all off, never losing its
balance. Above all, it's a deligh to drink now. Barbecue and short ribs come to mind
as great partners." -Steve Heimoff (Rated: 90)