Garnet color. Appealing black cherry fruit aromas, berry pie, and exotic oak spice. Fresh, ripe cherries on entry, fruit-forward, round tannins, and lovely old-vine pepper spice finish. Drinkable now. EB (2/17)
Continued drought weakened vine growth while storms at bloom cut yields in half. A fast-paced harvest began August 22nd and finished the 25th. Fermented for seven days, the wine is elegant yet structured. Once malolactics finished, the blend of the two major parcels was racked to barrel. It clarified naturally while tannins softened. This appealing zinfandel will develop fully over the next five to six years. EB (11/16)
Benito Dusi’s Ranch is the only vineyard in the Central Coast Viticultural Area from which we source grapes. Our Monte Bello vineyards are in the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Area which is not a part of the Central Coast. The 1967 vintage was our first wine from the Dusi Ranch. It was planted to zinfandel in 1923 which is unusual because Prohibition had started two years earlier. Purchased by Sylvester and Catarina Dusi in 1924, the property has been farmed since the 1940s by their son Benito, the owner.
Rainfall: 6 inches (half of normal)
Weather: Very dry winter & spring. In July monsoon rains dropped 2-3” that helped save the small crop.
Harvest Dates: 30 August – 5 September
Grapes: Average brix 24.6˚
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation; 15% submerged cap and 85% floating cap; pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels; 21% new, 51% two and three years old, 28% four and five years old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
California Grapevine (July 2017): “Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, forward, deep, intense, briary, ripe, plummy, raspberry and blackberry fruit aroma with hints of dill, dried herbs, and baking spices; full body; big, rich, ripe, spicy, brambly, extracted, red and black fruit flavors with good depth and balance, and a slight creaminess in the mouthfeel; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very appealing to drink now. Very highly recommended. 14.8% alcohol; 2,000 cases; 100% Zinfandel; released April 2017.”
(Group Score: 16.5, 1/1/1; My Score: 17 [92/100], second place)
Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine (May 2017): 93 Points – “Precise Zinfandel fruit sits amidst an attractive bit of vanillin oak in the deep and well-defined aromas of this immediately inviting Zin, and the wonderfully pure berrylike qualities that mark its start are at center stage all the way to the end. Along the way, the wine teases with subtle briar and graphite complexities, and, if never in the camp of powerhouse versions, it exhibits more than enough stamina and staying power. Balanced to firmness and lightly tannic, it is easy to like now but promises to be even better if cellared, and, given the choice, we would wait for a few years before pulling its cork.”
Average Rating: 89.9
No. of Tasting Notes: 48
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