2009 Hidden Ridge Vineyards "55% Slope" Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon 55% Slope (14.9% alcohol) displays notes of licorice, camphor, charcoal, truffles, graphite and cassis. Rich, full-bodied, deeper, longer and more intense than the 2008, this stunning 2009 is one of the finest Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignons ever produced. Drink it over the next 15+ years. I am not familiar with this terroir, but apparently it is on the Mayacamas Mountain at the Napa/Sonoma county line. There are 21 blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon planted at elevations ranging from 1,200 to 1,700 feet. As one can see from the wine names, this is somewhat like the exercise Schrader does with the different clonal material for the Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard. Here, the winemaker is doing it with degrees of slope.
This Cab comes from the Hidden Ridge Vineyard in Sonoma County. The terraced vines are on a steep mountainside in a valley with eastern, southern and northern exposures and the typical decomposed granite and alluvium soils of the Mayacamas Mountains. The vineyard experiences cool mornings and evenings and moderate temperatures during the day that allow the fruit to hang for a long time without overripening. Winemaker notes: "Dark and brooding, the bouquet offers intense huckleberry, red cassis and black tea aromas, laced with hibiscus flower and brown sugar. The palate is firm initially, but with aeration opens up to give layers of dense cocoa, sweet spice, ripe black fruit, and iodine, with touches of violet. The finish completes with a coda of hibiscus, sweet huckleberry, smoky tea, and cocoa tannins."