San Louis Obispo County
Layered ripe black cherry, plum skin, bramble, and classic regional spice in both nose and mouth. Smooth and approachable, with beautifully-integrated oak, appealing density, lively acidity, integrated tannins.
This is our twenty-eighth vintage from Beni Dusi’s old-vine zinfandel vineyard. 2002 was an unusually good year for zinfandel throughout California; Paso Robles’ fruit, though especially fine, was not typical. Rainfall in this part of the Central Coast was half of normal, resulting in clusters and berries considerably smaller than usual. During fermentation, color and tannin developed quickly. To avoid over-extraction, we limited circulation of juice through the skins. After nine months in air-dried american oak, the wine is both rich and focused. Even at this early stage, it is layered and elegant, with appealing acidity and integrated tannins. Delightful now, this lovely zinfandel will be at its best over the next five years. PD (6/03)
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 rainfall half of normal.
Bloom: May (normal)
Weather: Cool spring, warm summer.
Harvest Dates: 17 September – 6 November.
Grapes: Average brix 25.0; average pH at crush 3.52.
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary (no inoculation). A majority of grapes held submerged, with limited daily pump-overs. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (26% new, 74% three, four, five, and six years old).
Aging: Nine months in barrel
The Oregonian (23 Jan 2005): “Their “Paso Robles” zinfandel comes from Dusi Ranch, a repository of ancient zinfandel vines. What it displays is characteristic of Paso Robles-zone zinfandel: deep, rich, surprisingly soft fruit with whiffs of bitter chocolate.” -Matt Kramer
Connoisseurs’ Guide (Sep 2004): Well-ripened berries are served up with lots of milk chocolate and sweet oak seasonings in both the wide open aromas and flavors of this easy-to-taste Zinfandel. If a touch fat in feel and a little soft in structure, the wine balances its riper leanings with reasonable fruit and comes up a commendable choice for near-term service with barbecue fare. Rated: 87
International Wine Cellar (July/August 2004): Dark red. Super ripe nose suggest Kahlua and raisin, along with a hint of herbs. Then creamy in the mouth, with super ripe flavors of roasted fruits, mocha and cough syrup. The Kahlua and raisin notes return on the back end, suggesting that this zinfandel should be consumed in the short term. Rated: 88
Average Rating: 87.8
No. of Tasting Notes: 25
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