2015 Ridge Vineyards "Benito Dusi Ranch" Paso Robles Zinfandel

SKU #1295772 93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Precise Zinfandel fruit sits amidst an attractive bit of vanillin oak in the deep and well-defined aromas of this immediately inviting Zin, and the wonderfully pure berrylike qualities that mark its start are at center stage all the way to the end. Along the way, the wine teases with subtle briar and graphite complexities, and, if never in the camp of powerhouse versions, it exhibits more than enough stamina and staying power. Balanced to firmness and lightly tannic, it is easy to like now but promises to be even better if cellared, and, given the choice, we would wait for a few years before pulling its cork. **Two Stars**  (5/2017)

90 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2015 Zinfandel Paso Robles (100% Zinfandel) is a downright sexy, exuberant, extrovert that boasts tons of black raspberry and blueberry fruits, incense, spice-box and potpourri aromas and flavors. Soft, voluptuous and seamless on the palate, with tons of sweet fruit and a forward, medium-bodied style, drink it anytime over the coming 4-6 years. (JebDunnuck.com)  (8/2017)

K&L Notes

The Benito Dusi Ranch in Paso Robles is the only vineyard that Ridge uses south of the San Francisco Bay area. Originally planted by Sylvester and Caterina Dusi in 1923 after emigrating from Italy, these old vines produce phenomenal fruit. With excellent Zinfandel-growing temperatures and rocky soils, the Dusi Vineyard wines are known for their juicy bramble fruit and velvety tannins. According to the winery, these are wines that "consistently show deep, juicy bramble fruit on the palate, along with notes of black cherry, gravelly earth, and rich chocolate. Paso Robles is Zinfandel at its finest."

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Price: $32.99
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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Paso Robles

- Located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this inland AVA enjoys a sunny and hot growing period while its seaside neighbors hang in the fog. Zinfandel is the traditional red grape of choice, though cabernet, chardonnay, and Rhône varietals are gaining favor. Most are made in a fruit-forward, early drinking style.