San Louis Obispo County
Warm days at season’s start and a short crop set the stage for the earliest harvest on record. Flavor and sugar developed in tandem; we started picking on August 18, and finished six days later. In a majority of tanks, the grapes were held submerged, completing natural yeast fermentation within eight days. After waiting two months for malolactic to begin, we lost patience, and put the wine in barrel. As expected, it finished in its own sweet time – the following spring. Aging took place in air-dried american oak barrels, a quarter of which were new. We taste for balance of fruit, oak, and structure; in keeping with the vintage, the 2004 Paso Robles was bottled early. Already rich and sensuous, it will develop fully over the next four to five years. EB/PD (6/05)
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: Seven inches for the year (below normal)
Bloom: Early May (normal)
Weather: Hot days, cool nights; very dry season.
Harvest Dates: 18 – 24 August
Grapes: Average brix 25.3
Fermentation: Majority submerged cap. Natural primary and secondary. Pressed at eight days
Barrel: 100% air-dried american oak (21% new, 23% two and three years , 56% four to six years old).
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel
International Wine Cellar (September/October 2006, Issue 128): “Bright red-ruby. High-toned nose combines blackberry, black raspberry, licorice and black pepper. Supersweet, intensely flavored and penetrating; wonderfully fleshy, chewy and seamless but given lift and shape by strong acidity. An intriguing zinfandel with lovely inner-mouth floral perfume. Finishes long and sweetly tannic.” Rated: 91
Wine Advocate (30 June 2006): “Always one of Ridge’s more heady, intoxicatingly fruity, lush efforts, the 2004 Zinfandel Paso Robles is a charming, hedonistic, slutty-styled example to enjoy over the next 2-3 years.” Rated: 89
Connoisseurs’ Guide (May 2006): “There is typically a plump and easy-going aspect about Ridge’s Dusi Ranch Zins, and this one fits expectations to a “tee”. Its sweet berry themes are framed by a bit of caramelly oak, and its slight bias to ripeness in no way diminishes its fruit. Very smooth in feel but not unduly soft, it requires no further patience even if it will keep for a few years.” Rated: 87 (*)
California Grapevine (Feb-Mar 2006): “Medium to medium-dark ruby color with a touch of purple; attractive, forward, spicy, herbal, briary, very ripe, jammy, raspberry and dark cherry fruit aroma with notes of dill and black pepper; full body; rich, plush, intense, jammy, very ripe, dark berry fruit flavors with a full, rounded mouth feel; nicely balanced; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very enjoyable to drink now. Very highly recommended.” (Group Score: 16.6 of 20 points, 7 of 10 first-place votes/2 seconds/1 third; My Score: 17 [91 of 100 points], first place)
Average Rating: 89.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 56
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