96 Points – Tom Lee, Zinfandel Chronicles
94 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
94 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
93 Points – Wine Spectator
Deep garnet color with aromas of cherry, ripe plum, spearmint, strawberry compote and toasted oak. Ripe Bing cherry and fresh acidity create a mouthwatering entry. Medium bodied with hints of exotic spices and underlying earth tones. The finish shows minerality and is long and satisfying. TG (11/22)
During a very dry winter the vines were given two long, deep irrigations that provided the water needed to set a good crop. Despite a July heat spike, harvest unfolded in ideal conditions. The wine shows the exotic spice typical of the vineyard and the freshness of firm acidity. Fifteen months in oak has brought these elements into balance. Enjoyable on release, it will develop further over the next eight years. TG (10/22)
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: Less than five inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Winter rains were light this year. The zinfandel vines at Dusi came through the dry year with good yields.
Harvest Dates: 21 – 28 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.5˚
TA: 7.60 g/L
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation.
Barrels: 90% air-dried American oak, 10% French oak (23% new, 31% one year old, 13% two years old, 7% three years old, and 26% four years old).
Aging: Sixteen 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, 108 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. 14.8% ABV. 100% Zinfandel from Benito Dusi Ranch. Soaring nose of red fruits, spearmint and baking spices. Medium body with exquisite acidity and balance. Loaded with bright, juicy fruits. Bing cherry, raspberry liqueur, strawberry and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Arguably, the best Zinfandel in the Ridge portfolio. Drink over the next 5-7 years.” -Tom Lee (March 2023)
JebDunnuck.com: 94 Points “The 2021 Zinfandel Paso Robles is all varietal and comes from the Benito Dusi Ranch in Paso Robles. It’s more medium-bodied and elegant, with classic Zinfandel notes of red and black plums, peppery herbs, cigar smoke, and sweet spices. I love its forward, seamless texture, and it has soft tannins as well as flawless balance. It’s another gorgeous 2021 from this team with so much to love. Enjoy bottles over the coming decade.” -Jeb Dunnuck (October 2023)
OwenBargreen.com: 94 Points “This wine comes from the Dusi Ranch and has been made since the 1960s. These vines were planted between the 1920s and 1940s. Ripe red cherry and red raspberry notes with bramble all mark the nose. The palate is refined and shows beautiful bright acidity with good weight. The levels of mouth-watering acidity is really good. Drink 2023-2033.” -Owen Bargreen (April 2023)
Wine Spectator: 93 Points “Captures the best of Paso Robles Zinfandel, deeply structured and appealingly briary, with notes of bright cherry, brown baking spices and orange peel that finish with fleshy tannins. Drink now through 2032.” -T.F. (June 2023)
Average Rating: 92.1
No. of Tasting Notes: 22
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