2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate
Ridge 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate
2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, bottled August 2010
75% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 3% petit verdot, 2% cabernet franc
13.5% alcohol by volume
Back label notes - A severe winter ended in early February, leaving the
vines short of water by late August. Moderate
summer weather ripened the small crop during the
first three weeks of October. Color and tannin
extracted rapidly from the small berries. Parcels that
make up the Estate Cabernet consistently produce
wines that are more accessible and elegantly
structured than those dedicated to the Monte Bello.
Typically, we reduce pump-overs and press early,
balancing tannins to fruit. Enjoyable now, this
superb wine will age beautifully over the next fifteen
to twenty years. EB (6/10)
Tasting Notes - Opaque garnet color. Layered cassis and
blackberry, fennel, dark chocolate, limestone/mineral notes, toasty
oak. Complex fruit, tannins, and oak are impressively balanced.
Drinkable now, and over the next fifteen years. -Eric Baugher (2/11)
The Monte Bello vineyard was first planted when the winery was
built, in 1886. In the early 1940s, the last of the old vineyard was
abandoned; in the late forties a few blocks were replanted. Those
cabernet vines â€ƒ now sixty years old â€ƒ produced the first Ridge
Monte Bello in 1962 and alone produced subsequent vintages
until the mid-seventies. By then, abandoned blocks replanted
during the sixties were maturing, and their fruit considered for use
in the Monte Bello. A number of those consistently produced a
softer, more accessible wine and were combined as what we now
call the stylistically distinct Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
First RIDGE Santa Cruz Mountains: 1979
Location: Monte Bello Ridge overlooking San Francisco
from the Santa Cruz Mountains, a unique
appellation separating the North Coast from the
Central Coast but not a part of either.
Elevation: 1300' - 2760'
Soils: Decomposing Franciscan green stone mixed with
clay/loam over fractured limestone sub-soils.
Age of Vines: Oldest planted in 1949; major replantings in
1968/9, 1972, 1982, 1987/8, 1990, 1995, 1997/8.
Training: Head trained, cane pruned (single-curtain trellis)
Irrigation: Non-irrigated. (Exception: new vines receive
drip irrigation until established.)
Climate: Cool, mountainous â€” between the
Mediterranean and Maritime Zones.
Exposure: Principally south/southeast
Yields: One-and-a-quarter tons per acre
Farming: Sustainably farmed
Rainfall: 30 inches (just below normal)
Bloom: Early June
Weather: Moderate summer and fall.
Harvest Dates: 29 September - 21 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.5Â°
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed, 60% full crush, 40% whole
berries. Small (1-6 ton capacity) fermentors. Pressed at six days.
Natural (uninoculated) malolactic (half in barrel,
half in tank).
Selection: Twenty-four of the thirty-six Monte Bello Vineyard
parcels make up this Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (40% new,
50% one year old, 10% two years old.
Aging: Twenty months in barrel
Fresh estate grown grapes,
hand harvested. Fermented on the naturally
occurring native yeasts, followed by a full
malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria.
No inoculation. No Additives of any kind other
than 24mg/liter (2,500 grams total) calcium
carbonate to two of the forty-three small
fermentors to moderate very firm acidity; 25/100
of one percent rehydration (added to one
fermentor of cabernet); minimum effective sulfur
for this wine (35 parts per million at crush; 180
ppm over the course of eighteen months of
barrel aging); fresh egg white fining to moderate
tannins in all lots. No processing whatever other
than destemming and partial crushing, sorting
and, at bottling, pad filtration.