2005 Ridge Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Red

SKU #1039381 Jancis Robinson

 Cabernet essence distilled. Very pure menthol and blackcurrant flavours, a little green leaf character too, but not overbearing as they can be. Sweet, fruit, posh oak that gives vanilla pod flavours. Firm tannins and a lengthy finish with the menthol tones dominating, plus a little cedarwood. Demands food.  (6/2009)

K&L Notes

A late winter held the vines dormant longer than usual. During bloom, northern California was hit by a particularly strong weather system, disrupting fruit formation, and the estate yielded its smallest crop since 1996. Warm summer weather helped to avoid a seriously delayed harvest; picking began on schedule in early October, and was complete by early November. Small berry size resulted in rapid color and tannin extraction. Press wine was aged separately, allowing excess tannin to precipitate, then added at eighteen months. Abundant fruit and richness permitted us to use a greater percentage of new and one-year-old airdried american oak in aging. Twenty-one months in barrel and six racks off the settled lees have brought integration and clarity. Elegant structure and the rich, briary fruit typical of our Santa Cruz Mountains estate combine to give the wine immediate appeal. An excellent vintage, it will continue to develop over the next twelve to fourteen years. 58% cabernet, 42% merlot.

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Price: $39.99
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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.