2009 Ridge Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains.
While it is likely that the Ridge Estate Cabernet might get called the “Baby Monte Bello” and since it comes from the vineyards I could understand completely, but this wine fully stands on it’s own rather than in the shadow of it’s big brother. Since Ridge decided to separate the Cabernet and Merlot from the Estate and create the 2 wines, instead of the cuvee, the Cabernet has gained it’s own personality and has elevated it to a whole new level of distinction. Ridge made straight Cabernets in the past, and their 1970’s wines are still drinking well and were classics, as I suspect this Estate wine will become as well. I would be hard pressed to find a better Cabernet Sauvignon under $50 in California, or the world even than this 2009 Ridge Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains, and for sure, of what I’ve tasted of 2009 Cabernets this wine is right up there with the very best of them. The 2009 Estate Cabernet shows everything you’d ever want of dream of in a fine Cabernet with richness, depth, power and elegant details, a stunning example of why the Cabernet Sauvignon grape is the king of great wines. The nose has acacia flowers, smoky pencil lead, creme de cassis and spicy vanilla leading to a full and deep palate of blackberry, tangy currants, plum and dark cherry fruits while sweet tobacco leaf, sage, cedar notes and licorice add complexity and the texture is dense, but as all great wines feels totally in balance and has a dream like lightness and touches all the pleasure zones from start to lengthy finish. Refined tannins keep every detail in check, providing a firm mountain fruit backbone, and will allow for a long life for this beauty.
($45 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive
Avail at www.sfwtc.com ($40)