96 Points – Zinfandel Chronicles
94 Points – Owen Bargreen
94 Points/A+ – Fine Wine Review
93 Points – Wine Enthusiast
Jammy fruit forward nose, toasty oak, rich and full on the palate with layered red fruit, black pepper and bright acidity. JO (1/22)
In 1967 Ridge first bought zinfandel from this vineyard, then farmed by Benito Dusi. Today, his nephew, Mike Dusi, continues to tend the old, dry-farmed vines. Picked at ideal ripeness, the 2020 is exceptionally well balanced in fruit, tannin and acid. It is enjoyable as a young wine for its exuberant fruit and will continue to evolve over seven to eight years. JO (11/21)
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: 8 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Winter rains were light this year. The vines yield was average, with good ripeness.
Harvest Dates: 25 – 27 August
Grapes: Average Brix 24.4˚
TA: 6.10 g/L
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation; 100% submerged cap.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (20% new, 25% one year-old, 20% two years-old, 20% three years-old, and 15% five 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 for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 136 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.
Zinfandel Chronicles: 96 Points “Purple in color. 14.5% ABV. 100% Zinfandel from Benito Dusi Ranch. Sublime nose of red fruits, peach, baking spices and pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Packed with bright, juicy fruits. Cherry, raspberry liqueur, boysenberry and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Undoubtedly the best vintage of this wine in recent memory. Best over the next 4-6 years.” -Tom Lee (March 2022)
OwenBargreen.com: 94 Points “Originally farmed by Benito Dusi, today Mike Dusi farms this old vine site that is well-known for high quality Zinfandel. This wine gets even better following a one hour decant. Bramble and red raspberry cordial mark the nose alongside suggestions of bay leaf and cherry tomato. The palate is fresh and energetic with a seamless texture and wonderful length. The concentration and finesse here is lovely. A complete wine, this is already beautifully evolved and will surely cellar well over the next twelve plus years. Drink 2022-2034” -Owen Bargreen (March 2022)
Fine Wine Review: 94 Points/A+ “This wine recalls to me the Claret/Cabernet-style Zinfandels of the 1970s and the early 1980s that then became increasingly difficult to find. The nose and mouth feature pure, clear, and precise black olive and brambleberry fruit, and the wine has a medium-weight body and round tannins. Oak is not missing here, but it appears as a seasoning, rather than as a dominant element. For me, this wine can easily serve as a model for what Zinfandel should be. The winemaker’s notes say that the wine should evolve over the next seven or eight years. The balance here should assure that the wine will continue to last for years after that.” -Claude Kolm (June 2022)
Wine Enthusiast: 93 Points “Loads of earth and smoked meat aromas kick off the nose of this bottling from a historic property, with smashed berry, plum and anise notes also arising. There’s solid tension to the palate, where strawberry compote, peppercorn and dried pork flavors align.” -Matt Kettmann
Average Rating: 90.9
No. of Tasting Notes: 20
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