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Pine Ridge Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 £59.95
PINE RIDGE NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON
This 80-hectare estate was founded in 1978 when Gary Andrus planted the property's original vineyard in Stags Leap on a terraced hillside flanked by a ridge of pine trees. They now have vineyards across five sub-zones in Napa: four in the Stags Leap District, three in Rutherford, three in Carneros and one each in Howell Mountain and Oakville. This diversity gives winemaker Michael Beaulac many different blending options from which to choose each year, the results of which can be seen in the stunningly high quality of the wines they produce.
The fruit for this vintage was chosen from Pine Ridge's premier estate vineyard sites throughout the Napa Valley, mainly the Stags Leap District, Oakville and Rutherford AVAs. Closely spaced vines and attentive farming of the vineyard blocks that produced the crop contributed to the bright, complex layers of flavour that characterise this wine.
Following a very dry 2014, drought was a threat in California during the 2015 growing season. Luckily during February and April, sufficient rain fell which replenished soil water reserves and supported healthy vine growth. Problems at flowering and fruit set lowered yields in some areas. Summer was sunny and fairly warm, which accelerated ripening and meant that by mid-August, harvest had begun.
The berries were hand harvested at night, carefully sorted and destemmed to tank, where fermentation took place. Then, the wine was racked to 36% new American oak barrels, where it was aged for 17 months prior to bottling.
With layered aromas of fresh red raspberry, blackberry pie and ripe cassis, this deep ruby wine captures the senses with fragrant dried violet, ginger snap, dark cocoa and sweet basil impressions. The palate opens with red cherry, juicy blueberry and red plum fruits that intermingle with hints of cinnamon stick and pie crust. The complex array of flavours lasts through the lingering finish, framed by velvety tannins and echoes of cherry cordial and roasted espresso bean.
90 Points - Lisa Perotti-Brown MW - Robert Parker
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet-purple in color with baked berries, earth, dried herbs and leather scents. Full-bodied with a good concentration of fruit, the tannins are a bit firm but good black fruit comes through on the finish.