2014 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1295773 93 points Vinous

 One of the many highlights in this range, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is terrific. The effects of the drought and resulting heat stress come through in the wine's structural feel and bold, incisive flavors. Even with all of its intensity, the 2014 has a certain silkiness in its tannins that makes it approachable today. Of course, the 2014 will be even better in another few years, but opening a bottle on the early side is not a crime. The 2014 spent 27 months in French oak. Readers who are looking for a more affordable alternative to Ridge's iconic Monte Bello should consider the 2014 Estate. Look for the Estate to be a real overachiever in 2014 as well as one of the best - possibly the best - California Cabernet in its price range. (AG)  (8/2017)

92 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Moving to the Bordeaux blends, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate from Ridge is an inky colored, ripe, downright sexy Cabernet that gives up ample notes of blueberries, cassis, vanilla bean, and licorice. A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, this full-bodied 2014 has a big mid-palate, good freshness and lots of chalky tannin on the finish. It has plenty of baby fat currently, but should round into form with 3-4 years of bottles age. (JebDunnuck.com)  (8/2017)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Made in a style that demands patience and cellaring, this is taut, firm, dense and sturdy. Not showing much now, but like good Bordeaux, this is built to age. (JL)  (7/2017)

K&L Notes

A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, this intense yet balanced wine offers blackcurrant, cherries, clove, toasted oak, and cocoa. Brambly, rich, supple yet firm, this lovely will bring pleasure tonight or for years to come.

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Price: $54.99
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By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/19/2017 | Send Email
So, you like Ridge Vineyards “Monte Bello” Cabernet but you can’t afford it? Fair enough. Luckily they have created just the thing to keep you satiated. The 2014 Ridge Vineyards “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon is a declassification of numerous lots off the Monte Bello Vineyard, which includes some of the replanted “young vines,” and is treated in the cellar exactly the same way as their flagship bottling. For years now we’ve touted this beautiful, classic California Cabernet to our in-store customers and we feel like it is time to inform a larger group of our customers just how good this wine is before it is gone. Big, powerful aromas of Asian plum, sweet pipe tobacco, boysenberry and warm spice fill the dark yet friendly nose. With a similar concentration to the famed Monte Bello bottling but not as integrated or lengthy, I mean what do you expect for $125 less a bottle, this is superb Cabernet full of the savory components of the Santa Cruz Mountains and with layers of blackberry, clove, toasted marshmallow, fennel and a resonating purple flower note in the finish. There is certainly a reason this is one of the staff’s favorite Cabs year in and year out.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/17/2017 | Send Email
Ridge Vineyards wines always seem to deliver. This 2014 Estate Cab. is no exception. It offers nice dark fruits that are rich and delicious but it is not too ripe or jammy. It is a dry wine that is a classic California Cab. I think that it will be best with hearty foods.

By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/6/2017 | Send Email
It seems like only the other day we were all crooning over the 2013 releases from Ridge, yet here is another pristine Cabernet from the "Estate" line. 2014 keeps up the same excellent quality and depth that we have all come to expect from the Estate Cabernets, showing lovely resin, rosemary, and green olive aromas, with excellent, full-bodied dark fruit, lithe tannins, and well-placed acidity that highlights rather than overshadows the fruit. I highly encourage all of you to pick up a bottle or two or six! Always under-rated next to the more famous "Montebello", the Estate Cabernet is quite exquisite, and one not to be missed!

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/6/2017 | Send Email
At our staff tasting of 4/4/2017, this (and three other wines) were my favorites out of about 30 selections. Super big nose of black cherry and boysenberry. On the palate, however, super structured with fine tannin and oak. Black plum, dark red fruits and the (just right) amount of earth and tobacco make this one of the best vintages of this wine that I have ever tasted.

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/5/2017 | Send Email
I've been buying this wine every year since I first started working at K&L and this 2014 edition might be my favorite edition thus far. It's absolutely lovely. There's plenty of plush plum and dark berry fruit, but with that acidity and earthy spice that make Santa Cruz Mountain cabernet what it is. It's full and supple on the palate, but again that weight doesn't overwhelm or throw off the balance in any way. This is a great mid-range bottle of serious CA cabernet.

Additional Information:


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.