Tasting Notes: 1998 Peachy Canyon Benito Dusi Ranch

This bottle of Peachy Canyon was a hidden gem I found in a corner of the wine shop I barely visit & when I have, I only breezed by. Breezing by any shelf in a wine shop is not like me. I shop for wine like an old lady shops at a Christmas bazzar. I go slow & make sure I see everything...twice. This annoys La & usually the staff, if I am not at a store where I am a regular. We are big fans of Peachy Canyon, so the decision was made as soon as I dusted off the label.

At first I was a little apprehensive about spending $25 on an 8 year old bottle of Zinfandel, because many people say that Zin should be enjoyed in the first four years. In fact this is true for most wines, as less than 5% of wine gets better with age & even then, it has to be stored under strict climatic guidelines & I have never been in a wine shop that was 55ºf with a 55-70% humidity.

There is a lot of history behind the Benito Dusi Ranch with most of the vines being 60-80 years old There is an interesting article on the Benito Dusi Ranch over at Appelation America that can be found here.

It seems Peachy Canyon no longer sources fruit from Benito Dusi Ranch & according to the article, only Ridge & Dover Canyon purchase fruit from Benito Dusi Ranch. After tasting the wine, I know have to seek out a bottle of each.

We uncorked this bottle on a Friday night, with no plans other than vegging out on the couch, eating a little dinner & watching "That 70's Show". This has become our ritual for kicking off the weekend.

Upon the first sniff, which was me cramming the bottle under my schnoz, I knew it was a winner. I think I let out an "Ungh" as I exhaled. I poured us two glasses & after the first sip, we both knew it was definitely a winner.

The nose was a full bouquet of mixed berries & spice. The berry aroma was not as vibrant as a young Zin, but it possessed a complexity most young Zins don't have. There was also gobs of cocoa & sweetness with an underlying maple that lingered in the background.

In the mouth it was soft, smooth & velvety. The flavors of berry compote, bitter-sweet cocoa & a little earth danced across my tongue leaving a gentle tannic grip that lingered & slowly faded away. This wine was very balanced with a slight acidity. The finish was long & wonderful, leaving you a lot to contemplate.

This wine easily stood up to 8 years in the bottle proving that there is nothing definite in wine.

For a good article on aging Zinfandels, written by Zin guru Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards, check it out here.


  • At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Sean said…

    Mmmmmmm... that sounds tasty. I need a glass of Zin now. :)


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