2009 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1089167 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Packed with blackberry and crème de cassis, this also has firm minerality. With the weight of the middle palate and the long, spicy finish, it’s especially attractive. Pretty tannic and astringent in its youth, this Cabernet-Merlot blend is classic Monte Bello. It needs time, and should age for 20 years.  (8/2012)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot) is gorgeous. Dark red berries, grilled herbs, spice box, cedar and tobacco are some of the notes that flesh out in the radiant, expressive Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. This attractive, medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon can be enjoyed with minimum cellaring. Think of it as a baby Monte Bello to drink while the 2009 Monte Bello ages. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021.  (8/2012)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (includes 23% merlot): Opaque ruby. Smoky, expressive bouquet evokes cherry-vanilla, pipe tobacco, mocha and a touch of anise. Plump, open-knit cherry and dark berry flavors show very good depth and pick up spice and floral nuances with air. Fine-grained, gentle tannins come on late and add shape to the long, fruit-dominated finish.  (11/2012)

K&L Notes

Following the success of the 2008 "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet, which received 94 points from the Wine Advocate and praise as "one of the most compelling values in California Cabernet" (08/11), Ridge keeps it coming with another stunning offering in 2009. A blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot from younger vines growing exclusively on Ridge's Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello Estate, think of the 2009 "Estate" Cabernet as a "Baby Monte Bello" in style, just more open-knit and accessible young. It fermented with native yeasts and was aged for nineteen months in primarily used air-dried American oak barrels (only 15% new). It exhibits classic Monte Bello blackcurrant, black cherry, and savory herb aromas and flavors, with hints of black tea and warm earth. It's full-bodied, with incredible fruit density and concentration, balanced acidity, firm tannins, and a lingering finish. Allocated to three bottles per customer.

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Price: $69.99
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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.


- 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.
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 (%): 13.5