2012 Ridge "Dusi Ranch" Paso Robles Zinfandel
Wine & Spirits
Ridge has bottled Zin from the Benito Dusi Ranch—planted in 1922 on the warm, gravelly hills south of the town of Paso Robles—since the 1967 vintage. In 2012, it’s a red with both raw power and surprising detail, the aromas oscillating between cured meat, black spice and brighter floral tones. The fruit feels full to the point of bursting, yet there’s sophistication to the structure, the tannins fine and mineral and alive—speaking to a resonant match of variety, site and soil amplified by vine age. It’s utterly Californian, a grand and sunny red to open when you’ve got a good enough reason to roast a whole lamb.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Zinfandel Benito Dusi Ranch (a 90-year-old parcel) is a big, boisterous effort (14.8% natural alcohol) that is best drunk in its first 4-6 years of life. An earthy, spicy, peppery, meaty, full-bodied wine, it exhibits lots of dark brambleberry and briery fruit in a fleshy, straightforward, succulent, tasty style.
From a 90-year-old vineyard, this begins with a lean blackberry nose and other pointed dark-red to deep-purple fruits, all nicely laced with minerality and herbs. The flavors are dynamic, slipping from cranberry to pomegranate to cherry juice. A black tea finish framed by strong tannins ensures long cellar life. Drink 2018–2022.
Long before Paso Robles became an important wine playground, there were folks down there whose good works had plowed the ground successfully. Ridge has been making B. Dusi Zinfandel for years, and, in its best incarnations, this wine is lusty, rich and has long made a strong case that Paso is not just for power but also for character. Its ripe blackberry/raspberry fruit and its dark soil notes are carried by a fairly supple, full-bodied and balanced mouthfeel and hold long into the ripe, slightly hot but also lively and inviting finish.
Benito Dusi Ranch is the only vineyard on the Central Coast that Ridge sources grapes from, and they've been making wines from the Zin vines there since 1967. The wines from this site are fruit-filled but balanced, with bright raspberry fruit and toasted coconut flavors.