San Louis Obispo County
Deep garnet. Concentrated plum, black cherry. Gravelly earth, rich chocolate. Dark, juicy bramble fruit on palate; cardamom, crushed pepper, sweet oak. Round tannins; fresh, lively acidity. EB (3/10)
This second drought year reduced yields in Benito Dusi’s eighty-six-year-old vineyard. The vines ripened uniformly, and we harvested all three parcels within a week-a record. The three were kept separate, and two of the six tanks were fitted with grids to hold the caps submerged for fuller extraction. Primary fermentation was carried out by natural yeasts. Juice was pumped over the cap twice daily until pressing-day eight, on average. Uninoculated secondary fermentation took forty days. The finished lots were blind-tasted for assemblage; for once, all could be included. The wine’s concentrated flavor called for a higher-than-usual percentage of new oak. Exotic barrel spices complement the vineyard’s ripe bramble fruit, and this year’s intense color is striking. Integrated and enjoyable now, this excellent vintage will develop over the next five to seven years. EB (8/09)
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: Twelve inches (below average)
Weather: Dry and hot spring, dry summer and fall.
Harvest Dates: 23 August – 3 September.
Grapes: Average Brix 25.7
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation. 63% submerged cap; 37% floating cap. Pressed at eight days on average.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (30% new, 56% one and two years old, 14% three years old).
Time in Barrel: Ten months
Connoisseurs’ Guide (Vol. 34, Issue 7, May 2010): “Ridge has always had a way with this vineyard, and the wines from its grapes are among the most fruity and forward of the winery’s roster. From its sweet, well-ripened nose to its carefully proportioned, fruit-focused flavors, this latest version meets all expectations, and it is balanced to work with a wide number of foods. It should hold up with age but is so tasty now that early drinking cannot be condemned.” Rated: 90 (*)
California Grapevine (Vol. 36, No. 2, April-May 2010): “Medium-dark ruby with purplish tinges; attractive, intense, briary, very ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit aroma with hints of milk chocolate; full body; big, intense, jammy, peppery, brambly, concentrated, mouth-filling, very ripe berry fruit flavors; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended.” (Group Score: 16.1 of 20 points, 2/2/4; My Score: 17 [90/100], third place)
Average Rating: 88.8
No. of Tasting Notes: 64
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