Deep garnet color. Intense ripe bramble fruit aroma, compote, black licorice, and exotic barrel spice. Black cherry fruit entry, medium-bodied, elegant tannins, and lively acidity; a long, appealing sweet finish. EB (11/17)
A dry winter followed by untimely spring rains at bloom cut yields. Warm summer weather ripened the grapes for a late August harvest. A nine day fermentation extracted full color and structured tannins. The wine then aged for fifteen months in barrel. This opulent Dusi shows abundant fruit. Its richness will support ten to twelve years of continued development.
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: 6 inches (below average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Very dry winter and spring. In July monsoon rains dropped 2-3” that helped save the small crop.
Harvest Dates: 25 August – 10 September
Grapes: Average brix 28˚
Fermentation: Full crush; natural primary and secondary; 100% submerged cap fermentation. Pressed at nine days.
Barrels: Air-dried american oak, 65% one and two 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; 1.4% water addition; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 182 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: 89.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 56
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