San Louis Obispo County
Very open, approachable. Classic Paso Robles cherry fruit, hints of vanilla, chalky tannins. Drink now.
After a short crop in 2000, this vintage brought excellent yields at the Dusi Ranch. Adding to that abundance, we were able — as in the seventies until the mid-eighties — to harvest almost the entire vineyard. Fire, warm summer weather ripened the grapes, block by block, over the first two weeks of September. The wine fermented to dryness on its natural yeasts. For continuous extraction of color and tannin, skins and seeds were held beneath the surface of the juice in the majority of fermentors. After completing a natural malolactic fermentation, the wine spent twelve months in fifty-three-gallon, air-dried american oak barrels; a quarter of these were new. This spicy, readily accessible zinfandel is enjoyable now, and will be at its best over the next five years. PD (10/02)
Dusi Ranch is the only Ridge vineyard south of the San Francisco Bay area. It is planted entirely to zinfandel, unusual in a vineyard more than eighty years old. Purchased by Sylvester and Catarina Dusi in 1924, the property has been farmed for many years by their son Benito, the present owner.
Rainfall: Winter rains were slightly below normal.
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Warm spring and summer, very even temperatures
Harvest Dates: 30 August – 3 October
Grapes: Average brix 24.9°; average pH at crush 3.41. A relatively large crop. The grapes were picked in five separate passes as warm weather fully ripened each parcel.
Fermentation: No inoculation. Natural primary and secondary; majority of grapes held submerged with daily pump-overs. Pressed at six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (24% new, 18% two-year-old, 58% four and five).
Aging: 12 months in barrel
Wine Spectator (Dec 2003): The 2001 Zinfandel Paso Robles (along with the 2001 Sonoma County Three Valleys) is one of Wine Spectator’s “Eight Spicy California Reds for $25 or Less” Smart Buys (Dec 2003).
Wine Advocate (Oct 2003): An outstanding effort, the 2001 Zinfandel Dusi (14.5% alcohol) displays loads of black cherry, jam-like notes intertwined with pepper and underbrush. Dense, full-bodied, and peppery with great fruit purity as well as presence, it should be enjoyed over the next 4-5 years. Rated: 90
International Wine Cellar (Jun 2003): Full red. Aromas of red cherry, nut skin and gingerbread. Full, pliant and serious, with very good breadth and sweetness. Flavors of raspberry, chocolate and nuts. A satisfying, ripe zinfandel, a bit fresher than the Geyserville.
Average Rating: 89.1
No. of Tasting Notes: 27
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