2009 Hidden Ridge Vineyards "55% Slope" Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1150104 94 points 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.  (12/ 2013)

K&L Notes

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."

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Price: $39.99

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By: Adam Winkel |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 1/8/2014  | Send Email
This would cost at least twice as much if it was from the Napa side of the county line. Certainly a generous wine with unfurling layers of complexity, Hidden Ridge is mountain Cabernet for the initiated rather than something flamboyant. It is very rooted in its rugged terroir and firm structure. I had open bottles of the 2007 improve for days after popping the cork, which speaks volumes about the cellar potential. I've been a huge fan of Hidden Ridge for several years, but my praise is modest compared to Mr. Parker calling this bottle "one of the finest Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignons ever produced." Wow.

Additional Information:

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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).