100 % Zinfandel
92 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
92 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Deep garnet color. Black cherry and plum fruit aromas, pepper spice, and toasted oak. Ripe cherry fruit entry, medium-full bodied, rich tannins, with lively acidity. Long spicy finish. EB (12/18)
Abundant winter rains ended the five year drought, but storms during bloom reduced crop. A warm summer, ripened the grapes for a late August harvest. North and South parcels were fermented separately. Their appealing fruit and elegance allowed both to join the assemblage with a portion of the ripe canyon parcel added for richness. Enjoyable now, this delicious wine will develop fully over the next six years.
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: 24 inches (above normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Decent winter rain, totaling over 24 inches. A warm summer followed, ripening the grapes for a late August harvest. The yield was a bit below average but it came in quickly with excellent quality.
Harvest Dates: 25 August – 8 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.4˚
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation; 100% submerged cap; pressed at ten days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (13% one year old, 76% two years old, and 11% three years old)
Aging: Eleven months in barrel
Benito Dusi Vineyard grapes, hand-harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 3.0% water addition; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 132ppm over the course of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Vinous Media: 92 Points “The 2017 [Paso Robles Zinfandel] is super-expressive from the outset. A burst of aromatic intensity and finesse is hugely enticing. Sweet floral notes and bright red/purplish berry fruit are nicely pushed forward, with a kick of Paso Robles acidity that adds character.” – Antonio Galloni (October 2019)
JebDunnuck.com: 92 Points “The 2017 Zinfandel Paso Robles is a bigger, richer wine compared to the Dry Creek Release, and its deep purple color is followed by tons of sweet blueberry, mulberry, brambly herbs, and cigar wrapper notes. Rich, medium to full-bodied, sweetly fruited, and with ripe tannins, this is one sexy Zinfandel that can be drunk today or cellared for 10-15 years.” – Jeb Dunnuck (June 2019)
Wine Spectator: 91 Points “Briary and rustic yet appealing for the deep blackberry, mineral and savory underbrush accents that build toward broad-shouldered tannins.” – Tim Fish (May 2019)
The Wine Advocate: 91-93 Points “Tasted from barrel, the 2017 Zinfandel Paso Robles is also very promising, offering up youthful primary aromas of ripe cherries and currants. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, supple and succulent, with melting tannins and a pure, juicy, fruit-driven profile. In 2017, Ridge was able to pick their entire block of the Benito Dusi vineyard in one go, meaning that all the grapes arrived at the Monte Bello winery the day that they were harvested, and that will also be the practice going forward. While the Paso Zinfandel is never the most complex of Ridge’s Zinfandels, it’s inordinately appealing for its generous expression of Zinfandel fruit.” – William Kelley (May 2018)
California Grapevine: 91 Points “Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, ripe, briary, cedary, peppery, dark cherry and blackberry fruit aroma with hints of dill and dried herbs; full body; rich, ripe, brambly, red and black fruit flavors with oaky undertones; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Enjoyable to drink now, though deserving several more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended. ” – Nick Ponomareff (June 2019)
Average Rating: 90.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 45
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