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Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 £59.95
RIDGE ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
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.
92 Points - Robert Parker.com
“The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (which hails from the Monte Bello Vineyard) is already quite expressive, revealing aromas of blackcurrant, ripe cherries, cigar box and burning embers, framed by a judicious application of new oak. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, supple and nicely balanced, with fine-grained tannins, a good core of ripe fruit and a pure finish. While the Estate Cabernet is explicitly crafted to be approachable in its youth, this should be well worth following for the next 15 years. The 2015 blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.”
Reviewed by William Kelley