Ridge Zinfandel, Paso Robles, 2006

100% Zinfandel. 2006 Zinfandel, Paso Robles, bottled Jan 08. The eighty-year old vines on Benito Dusi's ranch set a full crop, with yields equaling those of 2005. Above-average summer temperatures quickly advanced the growing season, but cooling ocean breezes slowed the process, and we harvested two weeks later than usual. Natural yeasts carried out primary fermentation in small tanks, which were pumped over twice daily. An uninoculated malolactic fermentation finished rapidly, allowing us to assemble the selected parcels in November. The blend was racked to air-dried American oak barrels - a quarter new, a very few one to two years old, and the balance four years old. Careful racking off the sediment brought brilliant clarity by the ninth month. This vineyard's forward fruit and soft tannins have often dictated early bottling. In this vintage, however, our blind tastings confirmed the need for a full thirteen months of barrel age. Rich fruit and the spice of barrel aging are beautifully balanced in this accessible zinfandel. It will be at its best over the next five years. 14.6% Alcohol by volume. Product of USA.