2016 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1408704

Winemaker's Notes: "77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Saturated purple in color. Aromas of cassis, blueberry, cola, licorice, and sweet oak. Ripe blackberry fruit entry, full bodied, rich textures, exotic spice and toasted oak. Complex, long, sensuous finish. The Bordeaux varietals, which are all grown on the Monte Bello vineyard, the approach is somewhat different. After years of experience, we have found that the parcels can be divided roughly in half based on the style of wine each has produced in past years. One group is more approachable, and develops its full complexity earlier; from these, we select the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The other, though balanced and enjoyable as a young wine, begins to develop its full depth, complexity, and superb quality with a minimum of ten years’ aging. The Monte Bello is selected by blind tasting from these parcels. The first assemblage for both takes place in early February, following vintage. A second, that considers press wine and lots that were not yet stable in February, takes place in May. Thus, from one vineyard, we make two wines - distinct in style, but sharing the vineyard’s individuality."

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Price: $59.95

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Product Reviews:

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By: Robert Cash | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/9/2019 | Send Email
Ridge has been one of my favorite California wineries for many years They produce wines of exceptional craftsmanship and elegance at all price points. I recently had the pleasure of tasting this 2016 Estate and was left thoroughly impressed. Very dark purple, almost opaque in the glass with a deep powerful nose of dark fruit, cigar box, cassis, and forest floor with a seamless wrapping of oak. Frankly, there are just a plethora of lovely aromas to be discovered. Truly wonderful. On the palate, it's rich, complex, layered and full without being overbearing or heavy handed. I tasted the flagship Ridge Monte Bello many years ago and the impression it left is still with me. The Estate ticks all the boxes that the Monte Bello did for me at a more affordable price point, and requiring less aging. Drink now and over the next few years with any grilled meats. To me, this is the epitome of great California Cabernet.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/6/2019 | Send Email
California Cabernet at its best. There is wonderful fruit but it is balanced out with structure and complexity.Over the past year there are few domestic cabernets that have so impressed me. This will be a great wine for a special dinner.

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/3/2019 | Send Email
For as much noise as is made about the "Estate" bottling's origins from the Monte Bello Vineyard and the relative accessibility of the juice, so little is said about just how good this cuvee is year in and year out. The 2016 edition is as good as you would expect from such a generous vintage and is still as easy to drink at release as it has always been, with cleaner lines and more focused notes than many California Cabs. A ridiculously dark purple, the nose is dominated by dark cassis and earl grey tea, both of which are found on the palate along with sage, white peppercorn, and salal. Such a good drink.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/3/2019 | Send Email
Recently I was lucky enough to taste five decades of Ridge Monte Bello with winemaker, Eric Baugher. We tasted 1975, 1985, 1995 (all from large format), 2005, 2015, 2016 and 2018 from barrel. It was incredible. However, one of my biggest takeaways from the tasting was how much of an absolute steal the "Estate" Cabernet is - a true Baby Monte Bello. It was very interesting to hear Eric speak to how the selection of what makes "Monte Bello" vs "Estate" is done purely on structural characters that start to show during the fermentation stage. It's not older blocks vs younger ones, or better blocks vs under-performing ones, it's a true assessment of age-ability vs accessibility. Everything is farmed the same (organically and largely dry-farmed), cropped the same, made the same. The Estate Cab is simply an expression of that same site that shows its true colors earlier in life than the more tannic, structured, tightly wound Monte Bello bottling. In fact tasting them side-by-side is very fun...the similarities in flavor are striking. Eric believes the 2016 Monte Bello has the potential to be the longest lived release of that wine in history...a "50-100 year wine." So unless you have a deep cellar and incredible patience, the Estate Cab might be a good option! I was so excited about how good the 2016 Estate Cab was we managed to secure a bit more wine than usual this year and I hope many of you will take advantage and snap up some bottles or cases. It won't disappoint.

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8