Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014  £59.95


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RIDGE ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014

In 1886 the first blocks of the Monte Bello vineyard were planted and construction on the winery begun. The first vintage was the 1892. In the early 1940s, the last of the old vineyard was abandoned; in the late forties a few blocks were replanted. Those cabernet vines—now over sixty-five years old—produced the first Ridge Monte Bello (1962) and subsequent vintages until 1974. By then other abandoned blocks had been replanted and their fruit considered for use in the Monte Bello. A number of those consistently produced a more accessible wine that developed its full complexity earlier and these were combined as the “Santa Cruz Mountains.” With the 2008 vintage the name of this stylistically distinct wine became the Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, stressing the principal varietal and the Monte Bello estate vineyard as its source.

Early harvest at Monte Bello had, for the first time ever, all varietals ripen in one month—September. We reduced whole berry fermentation time to accommodate the fast-paced harvest, yet extraction of color and tannin was abundant. By taste, the most approachable lots were selected at assemblage. This superb vintage aged in american oak, and was bottled at twenty-two months, once tannins had softened. It will show well over the next ten years.

Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested, estate-grown grapes; destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.25g/L calcium carbonate to moderate high natural acidity in four of twenty distinct parcels; 1.7% water addition to twelve of the twenty lots; minimum effective sulfur (25ppm at crush, 120 ppm during aging); a fining of 5 fresh, egg whites per barrel for the press wine; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Deep purple color. Aromas of blackcurrant, cherries, clove spice, toasted oak, and cocoa. Ripe bramble fruit entry, medium-full body, supple tannins, and sweet oak; firm acid persists in a long finish. 


Source Vinous Media (August 2017)

Rating 93 Points. 

Reviewer Antonio Galloni

One of the many highlights in this range, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is terrific. The effects of the drought and resulting heat stress come through in the wine’s structural feel and bold, incisive flavors. Even with all of its intensity, the 2014 has a certain silkiness in its tannins that makes it approachable today. Of course, the 2014 will be even better in another few years, but opening a bottle on the early side is not a crime. The 2014 spent 27 months in French oak. Readers who are looking for a more affordable alternative to Ridge’s iconic Monte Bello should consider the 2014 Estate. Look for the Estate to be a real overachiever in 2014 as well as one of the best – possibly the best – California Cabernet in its price range.”

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