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Deep garnet. Ripe bramble fruit, guava, peach, black pepper, oak spice. Opulent cherry fruit, medium-full body, lively acid, excellent balance. Lingering gravel/rock/mineral finish.
Serious drought affected all of California, but Paso Robles suffered most. In response, Beni Dusi irrigated once, at bud-break, to carry the vines through a dry spring and summer. By mid-September’s harvest, water stress had begun to intensify the fruit. We chose Canyon Block, with its powerful flavors, for the Dusi. Seventeen months in tempered american oak has softened tannins, and clarified the wine naturally, by settling. Enjoyable now, it will develop fully over the next six to eight 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: 7 inches (below average)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Dry winter, summer and fall, warm temperatures
Harvest Dates: 14 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.8˚
Fermentation: Full crush; natural primary and secondary; 100% submerged cap fermentation. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: Air-dried american oak, 65% two and three years old, and 35% five years old.
Aging: Seventeen months
Benito Dusi Vineyard grapes, hand harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 168 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 90.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 52
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