San Louis Obispo County
Bright cherry fruit and exotic spice; rich full-bodied zinfandel.
The 2005 growing season was delayed by cool spring weather that continued through late May, but above-average summer temperatures allowed the vineyard to catch up. The stressed vines at the top were harvested in early September; the rest ripened block by block over the next thirty days. Rebounding from the low yields of 2004, these eighty-year-old vines set a large crop. The thirteen separate natural yeast fermentations took place in small tanks, twothirds of which were fitted with grids, keeping the skins submerged to augment extraction of color and tannin. In eight days, on average, the tanks were drained and the skins gently pressed; the majority of press wine, rich in both color and complexity, was blended with the free run. Natural malolactic fermentations finished in two months, and the wine was racked to american oak barrels for aging. New oak was held to twenty percent, complementing the wine’s bright cherry fruit and exotic spice. This rich, full-bodied zinfandel will be at its most enjoyable over the next five to six years. EB (10/06)
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: 50% above normal
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Very cool spring, warm summer
Harvest Dates: 3 September – 7 October
Grapes: Average brix 26.4
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation, 63% submerged cap fermentations.
Maceration: eight days on average.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 19% three years old, 61% five years old).
Aging: Eleven months in barrel
California Grapevine (Vol. 33, No. 2, April-May 2007): “Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, spicy, briary, sweet dark cherry and blackberry fruit aroma with overtones of dill and white pepper; full body; forward, rich, plummy, raspberry jam flavors with a full, rounded mouthfeel; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended.”
(Group Score: 16.3 of 20 points, 1/0/5; My Score: 17.0 [90/100], fourth place)
Average Rating: 88.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 64
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