2008 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is compelling. Where to start? An expressive bouquet redolent of sweet herbs, tobacco and incense leads to a gorgeous tapestry of dark red fruit. The Estate is drop-dead gorgeous, with the silkiest of tannins that frame an extraordinary finish. This has to be one of the most compelling values in California Cabernet. (AG)
This is a beautiful traditional California Cabernet blend with mushroom, berry and dried herbs that follow to a full body, with soft and velvety tannins and a long and delicious finish. A joy to taste and drink. Made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.
This is big, and loaded with jammy blackberry fruit, but there's a sense of elegance and focus in its full-bodied flavors. Layered notes of licorice, caramel, toast and sage lead to a finish of firm but ripe tannins.
Wine & Spirits
Eric Baugher selects the more accessible lots of cabernet for this estate wine, which carries the Monte Bello Vineyard name on the label for the first time in 2008. This vintage includes Merlot (20 percent), Petit Verdot (3) and Cabernet Franc (2), which helps to bring out the fresh scent of thyme and forest floor. The black fruit and dark herb scents come forward as the oak influence recedes with air. Suited to several years of aging, to serve with roast game.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid ruby. Oak-spicy aromas of redcurrant, dried cherry and cola, with a hint of smokiness in the background. Fleshy and smooth in the mouth, offering juicy dark berry flavors and mounting vanilla and mocha notes. Finishes with good smoky persistence and resonating cherry and vanilla notes. Gentle tannins make for accessibility but also suggest that this will repay at least five years of patience. This wine, made from the lots that are more accessible and elegantly structured than those destined for Ridge's flagship Monte Bello bottling...
*Cellar Selection* A lovely Cabernet, dry and rich in flavor, showing lots of class. It's certainly ripe, with blackberry and cherry flavors that veer into currants. There's also a minerally tang. The wine is immature now, with hard tannins. Think of it as a junior version of Ridge's Montebello bottling, not as long lived, but still deserving of 6-8 years in a cool cellar.