San Louis Obispo County
Garnet/medium ruby. Cherry-rhubarb compote, crushed pepper, creamy oak. Bright fruit entry, elegant mid-palate, great fruit/tannin balance; lively acidity in a long finish.
This was the coolest growing season of the last forty years. Compared to a typical summer, temperatures in Paso Robles, our warmest zinfandel region, were mild. Harvest began with the north parcel, moved to the south, and ended with the canyon. Natural-yeast fermentations finished in seven days. Natural malolactic, in contrast, progressed slowly, finally finishing in March. Unusually high acidity lends a refreshing quality to the rich fruit. This fine wine will be at its best over the next five to seven years. EB (8/11)
The Benito Dusi Ranch is the only vineyard in the Central Coast Viticultural Area from which we source grapes. The 1967 vintage was our first wine from this vineyard. 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 owner.
Rainfall: 13 inches (below average)
Bloom: Mid May
Weather: Cool, late spring; warm summer; long, warm fall.
Harvest Dates: 6 – 23 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.9
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation. 32% submerged cap; pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (75% one and two years old, 25% three years old).
Aging: Eleven months
Benito Dusi Vineyard grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. A total of 2.2 percent rehydration (added to four particularly ripe parcels) during fermentation. Minimum effective sulfur (35ppm at crush, 75 ppm over the course of aging). 0.27 g/L of calcium carbonate added to six unusually acidic lots. Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Quarterly Review of Wines (Autumn 2012) – 28th Best of The Best California Zinfandel – “Delicious. Soft, spicy, strawberry/raspberry and cherry flavors. Clean, refreshing, smooth, with easy balance.” (Rated: 93)
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar (November-December 2012): “Bright purple. Cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complemented by cracked pepper, mocha and musky herbs. Expressive and gently sweet on the palate, offering supple dark fruit flavors and a touch of bitter chocolate. Finishes on a sweet blackberry note, with very good breadth and gentle tannins.” (Rated: 90)
International Wine Report (September 2012): “The 2010 Paso Robles 100% Zinfandel from Ridge brings fresh raspberry, blueberry cobbler, spices, pepper with some crushed rose petals and eucalyptus notes. Medium to full body, with nice underlying minerality and acidty keeping things fresh. Some tart berries make an appearance on the finish. (Best 2013-2018)” (Rated: 90)
California Grapevine (June 2012): “Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, briary, cedary, dark cherry and blackberry fruit aroma with hints of dill, black pepper, and toffee; medium-full to full body; forward, rich, textured, cedary, blackberry fruit flavors with firm acidity; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Easy to drink now. Very highly recommended.”
(Group Score: 16.2, 2/4/2; My Score: 17 [90/100], second place)
Average Rating: 89.4
No. of Tasting Notes: 89
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