Ridge Dusi Ranch Zinfandel 2002

Honestly, I didn’t mean to keep this bottle for so long – it’s just that Ridge’s wine club sends nearly two cases of wine a year, and I just can’t keep up. This is a members only bottling from a while back that someone got lost in the back of the wine chiller; upon pouring it’s clear that some of the normally dense color has gone missing over the last six years or so.

I’m not making this up – this wine smells almost exactly like gingerbread. At first, a softness of raspberries and then boom, gingerbread just like your Bubbie used to make. It mutates into blueberry at some point, but the spice and ginger hang in there.I’ve had more than my fair share of Zinfandel, and this one really does stand out.

At first threatening to be elegant and medium bodied, the wine quickly fans out in the mouth to a more varietally appropriate stance; it’s fairly rich, somewhat jagged (the acids and the tannins are all jostling for place here), and offers a surprising range of flavors, ranging from something like candied damson to Rainier cherry to Christmas pudding to sage honey and cedar wood. The only fault I can find (if indeed it is one) is a slight tendency for the acidity to surge up on the finish – but of course if you’re raising a wine (as opposed to making a wine) this is entirely to be expected.

Even at its advanced age, I don’t detect any aged notes; the wine is fresh and lovely and quite a pleasure to drink at this stage. Just add meatloaf and roasted veg and you’re good to go.

Price: $30
Closure: Cork

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