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