2009 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Packed with blackberry and crème de cassis, this also has firm minerality. With the weight of the middle palate and the long, spicy finish, it’s especially attractive. Pretty tannic and astringent in its youth, this Cabernet-Merlot blend is classic Monte Bello. It needs time, and should age for 20 years.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot) is gorgeous. Dark red berries, grilled herbs, spice box, cedar and tobacco are some of the notes that flesh out in the radiant, expressive Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. This attractive, medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon can be enjoyed with minimum cellaring. Think of it as a baby Monte Bello to drink while the 2009 Monte Bello ages. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(includes 23% merlot): Opaque ruby. Smoky, expressive bouquet evokes cherry-vanilla, pipe tobacco, mocha and a touch of anise. Plump, open-knit cherry and dark berry flavors show very good depth and pick up spice and floral nuances with air. Fine-grained, gentle tannins come on late and add shape to the long, fruit-dominated finish.
Following the success of the 2008 "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet, which received 94 points from the Wine Advocate and praise as "one of the most compelling values in California Cabernet" (08/11), Ridge keeps it coming with another stunning offering in 2009. A blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot from younger vines growing exclusively on Ridge's Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello Estate, think of the 2009 "Estate" Cabernet as a "Baby Monte Bello" in style, just more open-knit and accessible young. It fermented with native yeasts and was aged for nineteen months in primarily used air-dried American oak barrels (only 15% new). It exhibits classic Monte Bello blackcurrant, black cherry, and savory herb aromas and flavors, with hints of black tea and warm earth. It's full-bodied, with incredible fruit density and concentration, balanced acidity, firm tannins, and a lingering finish. Allocated to three bottles per customer.