The Wine Wednesday pick this week are two bottles we bought at an auction we attended this week-end. It was a fundraiser for the arts, and a good amount of wine groupings were part of the silent auction. Ridge Vineyards hold a special place in our hearts, so we were eager to bid on these bottle as well as a few others that were part of this package. We were the lucky ‘winners’ as they say in auction speak. We have not popped open these yet, but I have a some notes from the maker.
2012 Vintage: The warm, dry 2012 growing season fully ripened the fruit on these ninety-year-old vines. Each parcel was fermented separately, and the two richest selected for the Dusi Ranch. A wine of great intensity, it can only be made in the best of warm vintages. Twelve months in barrel has rounded and integrated the tannins. This exotic wine has highlyscented bramble fruit, and the full, ripe flavors of a Paso Robles zinfandel. It will be enjoyable over the next eight to ten years.
2013 Vintage: Serious drought affected all of California, but Paso Robles suffered most. In response, Beni Dusi irrigated once, at bud-break, to carry the vines through a dry spring and summer. By mid-September’s harvest, water stress had begun to intensify the fruit. We chose Canyon Block, with its powerful flavors, for the Dusi. Seventeen months in tempered american oak has softened tannins, and clarified the wine naturally, by settling. Enjoyable now, it will develop fully over the next six to eight years.
This post really is about the idea of tasting/serving at a dinner the same wine from different vintages. It is a fun way to learn about wine. How nuanced it can be from year to year. How weather conditions ultimately affect what ends up in the bottle. You see just how Mother Nature plays a leading role in the making of wine. I find it all hugely fascinating. It makes for great dinner conversation among guests.