94 Points – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
93 Points – Wine Spectator
92 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
91 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
91 Points – Wine Enthusiast
Garnet red color with aromas of ripe cherry, plum, strawberry jam, and sweet toasty oak. On the palate, juicy cherry fruit, lively acidity, and peppery spice. EB (9/20)
Drenching winter storms brought the vines much needed water. Cold spring weather delayed bud-break and bloom. Fortunately, a warm summer ripened the grapes for an early September harvest. Each vineyard parcel fermented in separate tanks for an average of six days. Once pressed, the finished lots were tasted. The most appealing, fruit-forward wines were assembled. This delicious vintage can be enjoyed now and over the next five to seven years.
Benito Dusi’s Ranch is the only zinfandel vineyard that Ridge sources from within the Central Coast Viticultural Area. The 1967 vintage was our first wine from the Dusi Ranch. It was planted to zinfandel in 1922 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. Benito passed away in 2019, leaving the care of the vineyard to his nephew, Mike.
Rainfall: 30 inches (twice the average amount)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: A cool wet spring gave way to typically beautiful Paso Robles weather: hot days, cool nights, great for zinfandel.
Harvest Dates: 2 – 5 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.6˚
TA: 7.24 g/L
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation; 100% submerged cap; pressed at six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (77% Appalachian, 23% Ozark); 37% one year-old, 5% two years-old, and 58% three years-old.
Aging: Twelve 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; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur. Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
JamesSuckling.com: 94 Points “Soft and round with dried fruit, light raisin and pepper. Some chocolate, too. It’s medium-bodied, juicy and flavorful. Spicy finish. Pure zin. Drink now.” -James Suckling (March 2021)
Wine Spectator: 93 Points “Sleek and multilayered, with dynamic yet elegant raspberry, grilled fennel and cracked pepper flavors that build structure and richness on the long finish. Drink now through 2030.” -T.F. (March 2021)
JebDunnuck.com: 92 Points “Lots of plums, cigar wrapper, candied violets, and flowery incense notes emerge from the 2019 Zinfandel Paso Robles. It’s a ripe yet seamless, sexy Zinfandel from Paso Robles that has sweet tannins, a wonderful sense of weightlessness, and outstanding length.” -Jeb Dunnuck (July 2021)
Vinous: 91 Points “The 2019 Zinfandel Paso Robles, the second selection from Benito Dusi is a gorgeous Paso wine. It possesses copious blue and black fruit, licorice, cloves and chocolate, all in a lush, inviting style that is impossible to resist. It is one of the more extroverted wines in this range. I loved it.” -Antonio Galloni (May 2022)
Wine Enthusiast: 91 Points “There’s a lavish density of dark fruit on the nose of this bottling as well as hints of smoke and wood. The blackberry flavors on the palate are well focused, upheld by firm tannins and tight acidity, with light herbs coming through on the fresh, vibrant finish.” -Matt Kettman (July 2021)
Average Rating: 90.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 45
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