The warm, dry 2012 growing season fully ripened the fruit on these ninety-year-old vines. Each parcel was fermented separately, and the two richest selected for the Dusi Ranch. A wine of great intensity, it can only be made in the best of warm vintages. Twelve months in barrel has rounded and integrated the tannins. This exotic wine has highlyscented bramble fruit, and the full, ripe flavors of a Paso Robles zinfandel. It will be enjoyable over the next eight to ten years.
The zinfandel on this Paso Robles ranch was planted in 1923. It was purchased soon after by Sylvester and Catarina Dusi, who raised three sons there—Guido, Dante, and Benito. When Guido and Dante went to war in 1944, vineyard cultivation was left to Sylvester and young Benito—eleven years old at the time. Beni, as his many friends call him, maintained the vines from then on. Ridge’s long relationship with Beni and the Dusi vineyard began when Dave Bennion— scouting the area in 1967—knocked on the Dusis’ door and asked to buy five tons of grapes.
Rainfall: 12 inches (below average)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Almost ideal conditions, dry summer and fall.
Harvest dates: 7 – 12 September
Grapes: Average brix 26.0°
Fermentation: 100% submerged cap fermentation. Pressed at seven days.
Aging: Air-dried american oak, 25% new, 43% three years old, and 32% five years old.
Time in barrel: Twelve months
Benito Dusi Vineyard grapes, hand harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 117ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 89.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 60
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