An unusually warm growing season ripened the eighty-year-old vines on the north block of Benito Dusi’s Paso Robles ranch by late August. This section of the vineyard ripened evenly and—combined with a small number of grapes from the southern block—produced a wine of great intensity. Fermented on their own yeast in our smaller fermentors, the grapes were held submerged to achieve gentle extraction, and to accentuate both regional fruit and vineyard character. After a natural (uninoculated) secondary fermentation, the wine was racked to air-dried american oak barrels, a quarter of which were new, the rest three years old. This full, rich, very ripe zinfandel is also beautifully structured, and should be at its most appealing over the next five years.
The zinfandel on this Paso Robles ranch was planted in 1923. It was purchased soon after by Sylvester and Catarina Dusi, who raised three sons there—Guido, Dante, and Benito. When Guido and Dante went to war in 1944, vineyard cultivation was left to Sylvester and young Benito—eleven years old at the time. Beni, as his many friends call him, maintained the vines from then on. Ridge’s long relationship with Beni and the Dusi vineyard began when Dave Bennion— scouting the area in 1967—knocked on the Dusis’ door and asked to buy five tons of grapes.
Average Rating: 88.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 15
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