2003 Paso Robles Zinfandel

2003 Paso Robles Zinfandel

Wine Information

100% Zinfandel




Dusi Ranch


San Louis Obispo County

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Color: Medium ruby. Nose: Bright, straightforward cherry fruit, hints of guava. Some pepper, dusty earth. Palate: Intense cherry fruit balanced by firm acidity. Sweet oak, hints of clove. Integrated tannins. A harmonious, elegant wine.

Vintage Notes

Ridge first made zinfandel from Paso Robles’s Dusi Ranch in 1967; it is our only Central Coast vineyard. In the area’s warm climate, rich fruit flavors usually develop well ahead of structural tannins. This year, we fermented the fully-crushed fruit with a floating cap of skins, increasing juice circulation to maximize tannin extraction. In late spring we assembled the wine: more than eighty percent comes from the north and south blocks, the balance from the back of the ranch. Thirteen months in air-dried american oak contributes spice, while firm acidity adds definition to the ripe fruit. Approachable now, this sensuous wine will be at its best over the next four years. EB/PD (9/04)


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.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 9 to 10 inches for the year (below normal)
Bloom: May (normal)
Weather: Cool spring, warm summer.


Harvest Dates: 17-23 September
Grapes: Average brix 26.0°; average pH at crush 3.47.
Fermentation: Fully crushed to open-top tanks. Floating (rather than usual submerged) cap. Natural primary and secondary. Pressed at seven days.

Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (3% new, 72% two years old, 25% three years old)
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel


Connoisseurs’ Guide (Jan 2006): “Perhaps the friendliest and most accessible of the Ridge family, and unquestionably one of the out-and-out richest, the latest Dusi Ranch bottling is positively oozing with raspberries, vanilla, milk chocolate and sweet plums. It is plump on the palate and built in a softer, less-tannic style, and, where its kin from Lytton Springs and Geyserville will grow into greater things, this one is meant for enjoying right now.” Rated: 91 (**)

Wine Spectator (31 Aug 2005): “Effusively fruity, offering ripe, supple wild berry, raspberry and stewed plum flavors that are complex, balanced and harmonious, and a nice show of creamy coconut-tinged oak. Drink now through 2008. Tasted twice, with consistent notes” Rated: 90 -James Laube

Quarterly Review of Wines (Summer 2005): Best of Show of 87 zinfandels tasted blind (the 2002 Lytton Springs received five stars). “Lovely, rich, ripe, pure, succulent, deliciously lipsmacking, blueberry pie and mocha flavors.”

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 88.8

No. of Tasting Notes: 26

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Food Pairings

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