Ripe, pungent black cherry fruit. Notes of chocolate, exotic spice. Structured, intense. Drink now, and over the next five years.
In most years, the first grapes to ripen on Benito Dusi’s vineyard are those on the North Block; typically, they make the richest wine. Though their quality this year was excellent, and we included them in the Paso Robles Zinfandel, we chose the fuller, more sensuous wines from Railroad and Southeast Corner for this bottling. Those blocks were harvested in early September and early October, respectively. Two-thirds of the fruit fermented with a floating cap, one-third with the cap submerged. Both primary and secondary fermentations were natural (uninoculated). The wine aged in one-, two-, and four-year-old air-dried american oak, allowing the intense fruit to dominate. This rich, full zinfandel will be at its best over the next five to seven 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: 87.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 22
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