San Louis Obispo County
Fresh-baked cherry pie, candied plum, sundried cherries, ripe bramble fruit, creamy texture. Accessible structure. Delicious now.
After two wet winters, 2007 was considerably drier; these struggling eighty-five-year-old vines set a small crop. Summer heat accentuated water stress, and we harvested in late August to avoid over-ripening. The clusters-” small, and with tiny berries-” were destemmed and crushed as separate parcels to submerged-cap tanks for natural-yeast fermentation. This gentle approach produced balanced tannins and moderate color. We pressed on day six, and included press fractions for depth of color and added richness. The uninoculated secondary, slow to start, finished quickly, allowing us to put the lots to barrel by year’s end. At spring rack, when clear wine is separated from the sediment, we selected four of the five, and bottled early to maintain the balance of fresh fruit and oak. Enjoyable now, this appealing Paso Robles will be at its best over the next four to five years. EB (6/08)
Dusi Ranch is the only Ridge vineyard in the Central Coast Viticultural 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 since the 1940s by their son Benito, the present owner.
Rainfall: Ten inches (below average)
Weather: Dry and hot spring, dry summer and fall.
Harvest Dates: 25 August – 14 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.7
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary 63% submerged cap. Length of maceration nine days.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (9% new, 41% one and two years old, 50% three years old).
Time in Barrel: Ten months
Wine Spectator (2009 – web only): “Complex and zesty, offering a distinctive sense of place. Lively wild raspberry and spicy dill aromas open to crisp, layered and supple stewed plum, licorice and coconut-tinged oak flavors. The tannins are appealingly rustic. Drink now through 2014.” (Rated: 91) -Tim Fish
San Francisco Chronicle (11 October 2009) – Paso Robles Zinfandels – “The Dusi family planted their property to Zinfandel more than 80 years ago. Since 1967, Zin specialist Ridge Vineyards has produced its only Central Coast appellation bottling from Dusi fruit. Balanced with a more elegant style that offers spiced berry cobbler and hint of damp soil.” -Lynne Char Bennett Read article at SFGate.com
California Grapevine (Vol. 35, No. 3, June-July 2009): “Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, briary, raspberry jam aroma with a note of black pepper; full body; forward, rich, plummy, briary, ripe red berry fruit flavors; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very appealing to drink now. Very highly recommended.” 90 points
Connoisseurs’ Guide (May 2009): “If as usual among the more forward and accessible of the many Ridge Zinfandels, the Dusi Vineyard bottling is, in this vintage, a bit deeper in fruit and better balanced than is often the case. It is loaded with well-defined and juicy berry-like fruit and is more rounded in feel than it is soft, and its carefully fit acids lend a nice lift to its lingering finish, and, while it can comfortably hold for a couple of years, it is a tasty drink now perfectly matched to sundry barbecued fare.” Rated: 90 (*)
Average Rating: 89.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 109
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