Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel Red 2008
his second drought year reduced yields in Benito Dusi's eighty-six-year-old vineyard. The vines ripened uniformly, and we harvested all three parcels within a week—a record. The three were kept separate, and two of the six tanks were fitted with grids to hold the caps submerged for fuller extraction. Primary fermentation was carried out by natural yeasts. Juice was pumped over the cap twice daily until pressing—day eight, on average. Uninoculated secondary fermentation took forty days. The finished lots were blind-tasted for assemblage; for once, all could be included. The wine's concentrated flavor called for a higher-than-usual percentage of new oak. Exotic barrel spices complement the vineyard’s ripe bramble fruit, and this year's intense color is striking. Integrated and enjoyable now, this excellent vintage will develop over the next five to seven years.
Deep dark red color, but not much of a nose, at least yet. Strong and ripe Zin fruit, with lively acidity and some judicious oak influence. Medium finish, without a lot of bite. 88-89 points.
While not my favorite Ridge, this wine is well balanced with enough fruit to allow the acidic balancing to support a broad range of food pairings. We drink Paso with chicken as easily as beef - it's that drinkable. I agree that decanting this wine is vital and waiting a few years is preferable - if you can!
External Reviews for Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel Red
The fruit's slight sweetness is balanced by firm acid, its freshness accentuated by early bottling. Delightfully approachable, this wine will be most enjoyable over the next five years.
Deep garnet. Concentrated plum, black cherry. Gravelly earth, rich chocolate. Dark, juicy bramble fruit on palate; cardamom, crushed pepper, sweet oak. Round tannins; fresh, lively acidity. EB (3/10)