2011 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)

SKU #1157844 92 points Vinous

 Ridge's 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is quite laid back in this vintage. Sweet floral notes meld into red stone fruits, pomegranate and cinnamon. In keeping with the style of the year, the 2011 is medium in body, feminine and gracious. Best of all, it will drink well pretty much right out of the gate. (AG)  (7/2014)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 Blended from lots that didn’t make it into the flagship Monte Bello, Ridge’s 2011 Estate is still a pretty classic Santa Cruz Mountains cabernet, shot through with cassis aromas, bright acidity and dark, mineral tannins. Tame its taut, tannic density with a rib eye.  (10/2014)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Not to be mistaken for the winery's considerably dearer flagship Montebello bottling, this underplayed Cabernet speaks in comparatively hushed tones. It is pulled back in ripeness with tentative, berry-like fruit juxtaposed with gentle oak and a touch of green tea, and its slender, acid-edged style is a bit sparing in richness. It is slightly wiry and its bones tend to show through, but we like its focus, and it should be far friendlier stuff when allowed a few years in which to relax.  (8/2014)

K&L Notes

This is the "little brother" to Ridge's famed Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon. This comes from vines at the Monte Bello vineyard that were selected for consistently producing a more accessible, early-drinking wine. (For longtime Ridge fans, this used to be labeled the Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet, but starting with the 2008 vintage the winery chose to highlight Cabernet as the dominant varietal and the Monte Bello vineyard source.) The 2011 vintage is composed from 82% Cab, 14% Merlot, 3 Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Winemaker Eric Baugher describes it thus: "Aromas of blackberry, red currant, exotic barrel spice, and crushed rock. Intense red fruit on entry with coated tannins, a full body, firm acid, and toasted oak. Complex with layered flavors and a long finish."

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Price: $99.99
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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.

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.


- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13