2021 Benito Dusi Zinfandel

2021 Benito Dusi Zinfandel

Wine Information

100% Zinfandel

96 PointsZinfandel Chronicles
96 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
94 PointsWine Spectator
93 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous
92 PointsWine Enthusiast
92 PointsWine & Spirits




Dusi Ranch


Paso Robles

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Deep ruby color with aromas of dark plum, dusty strawberries, rhubarb, sarsaparilla, and sweek oak. Dense and weighty on the palate with bold red and blue fruit, nice mid-palate structure, and a long, lingering finish. TG (10/22)

Vintage Notes

Though challenged by a dry winter, these deep-rooted, old vines found the water to set a good crop. The well-drained, gravelly soils of the Canyon parcel provided the ripeness needed for this rich wine. It shows the exotic fruit of the vineyard and is both enjoyable now and worthy of aging over the next ten years. TG (10/22)


The zinfandel on this Paso Robles ranch was planted in 1923. The property 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 called him, maintained the vines for nearly 75 years, until his passing in 2019. 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.

Growing Season

Rainfall: Less than five inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Winter rains were light this year. The zinfandel vines at Dusi Ranch came through the dry year with good yields.


Harvest Dates: 22 – 28 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.5˚
TA: 7.95 g/L
pH: 3.60
Fermentation: Grapes de-stemmed and crushed; fermented on the naturally occurring yeast, followed by full malolactic on naturally occurring bacteria.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (19% new, 38% one year old, 32% two years old, 8% three years old, and 3% neutral).
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel

Benito Dusi Vineyard grapes, hand-harvested; de-stemmed 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, 55 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 “Bright crimson in color. Sensational nose of red fruits, licorice and baking spices. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Absolutely packed with bright, juicy fruits. Cherry, raspberry liqueur, boysenberry and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Always one of my favorite wines in the Ridge Zinfandel portfolio. Best over the next 3-5 years.” -Tom Lee (September 2023)

OwenBargreen.com: 96 Points “This outstanding 2021 Zinfandel was first made by Ridge in 1967 and comes from vines that were first planted in the early 1920s. Inky and concentrated in the glass, this shows a dizzying array of red and black florals, alongside garrigue, green peppercorns and shades of beef brisket. The palate is nicely structured, with a refined texture and plenty of mouth-watering acidity. Showing even more flavor density and flavor complexity than the 2020 edition, this has flat out fabulous concentration and an exceedingly long finish that will be sure to entice. This beauty is built to age. Drink 2023-2038.” -Owen Bargreen (October 2023)

Wine Spectator: 94 Points “Deeply structured and simmering with intensity, this Zin remains focused and refined, with blackberry, briar patch and grilled anise flavors that gather tension toward medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2033.” -T.F. (January 2024)

Vinous: 93 Points “The 2021 Zinfandel Benito Dusi is a classic Paso Robles wine. Tasted next to the other Zinfandels in this range, it presents a riper profile along with more overt American oak sweetness. It’s a style that works well, especially in terms of giving the wine tons of immediacy. The Benito Dusi is not the most complex wine in this range, but it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.” -Antonio Galloni (October 2023)

Wine Enthusiast: 92 Points “This is a hedonistic style of Zin, starting with oak-soaked aromas of creamy black cherry, clove and vanilla on the nose. Roasted and stewed fruit flavors are surrounded by woodspice on the ripe palate, which would make an excellent barbecue wine.” -Matt Kettmann (January 2024)

Wine & Spirits: 92 Points “Dusi is one of the oldest surviving Paso plantings, with vines going back to 1923. Ridge ages this zin in American oak—20 percent new—and that oak leads, with the fruit lagging. After a day, the spice of the oak melds with lovely spiced fruit, a plum character dusted with nutmeg. It feels seamless, generous and forward, a Paso wine with Ridge reserve.” -P.J.C. (March 2024)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 91

No. of Tasting Notes: 10

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