Ridge 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, bottled August 2013
82% cabernet sauvignon, 14% merlot, 3% petit verdot, 1% cabernet franc
Santa Cruz Mountains AVA
13.0% alcohol by volume
Winemaker Eric Baugher's Notes (back label) -
For a second consecutive year, an unusually
cool growing season pushed the last of
harvest into November. Thinning reduced
yields, but assured ripeness and depth of
flavor; cold nights slowed sugar development
while maintaining acidity. Natural yeast fermentations
were complete within eight days.
Half the press wine was initially held out, but
included this spring for additional complexity.
Twenty-one months' aging in air-dried american
oak barrels has provided natural clarity
and supple tannins. The excellent 2011 Estate
balances Monte Bello's cool-climate fruit,
mineral elements, and firm acidity. Sensuous
and beautifully defined, it will develop further
over the next fourteen years. EB (6/13)
Tasting Notes - Ruby/purple color. Blackberry, red currant,
exotic barrel spice, crushed rock. Intense red fruit entry. Coated
tannins, full body, firm acid, toasted oak. Complex, layered flavors;
-Eric Baugher (1/14)
Video Tasting Note
Presented by winemaker Eric Baugher
In 1886 the Monte Bello vineyard was first planted and construction on the
winery begun. The first vintage was in 1892. In the early 1940s, the last of
the old vineyard was abandoned; in the late forties a few blocks were
replanted. Those cabernet vine — now sixty years old — produced the first
Ridge Monte Bello (1962) and 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 more accessible wine that developed its full
complexity earlier and these were combined as the "Santa Cruz Mountains."
With the 2008 vintage the name of this stylistically distinct wine becomes
Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, stressing the varietal and the Monte Bello
vineyard as its source.
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' - 2670'
Soils: Decomposing Franciscan green stone mixed with
clay/loam over fractured limestone sub-soils.
Age of Vines: Oldest 1949; further plantings in
1968/9, 1972, 1982, 1987/8, 1990, 1995, 1997/8, 2008.
Training: Head-trained, cane-pruned on vertical trellis, vertical shoot positioned
Irrigation: Non-irrigated. (Exception: new vines receive
drip irrigation until established.)
Climate: Cool, mountainous — between the
Mediterranean and Maritime Zones.
Exposure: Principally south/southeast
Yields: 1.8 tons per acre
Farming: Sustainably farmed
Video Profile: Monte Bello Vineyard
The Monte Bello vineyard, narrated by winemaker Eric Baugher. (uploaded to YouTube on 21 October 2014)
Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late June
Weather: Moderate summer and fall
Harvest Dates: 19 October - 9 November
Grapes: Average Brix 23.8°
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed, 100% whole berries. Fermented
on the native yeasts. Pressed at eight days. Natural malolactic
(30% in barrel, 70% in tank).
Selection:Seventeen of twenty-five Estate Cabernet parcels.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels; (20% new,
40% one and two years old, and 40% three to four years old).
Aging: Twenty-one months in barrel
Estate-grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and sorted. Fermented
on the native yeasts, full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria.
88mg/L calcium carbonate to moderate unusually high natural acidity in
eight of twenty-two distinct parcels; minimum effective sulfur (35ppm at
crush, 82ppm during aging); a fining of eight fresh, organic egg whites
per barrel to soften the texture of the tough tannins. Pad filtered at
bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this
is the sum of our actions.
||60 cases/pallet (15 per layer)
SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)
Vinous Media (July 2014): "Ridge's 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is quite laid back
in this vintage. Sweet floral notes meld into red stone fruits, pomegranate and cinnamon. In keeping
with the style of the year, the 2011 is medium in body, feminine and gracious. Best of all, it will
drink well pretty much right out of the gate." -Antonio Galloni (Rated: 92)
review online at VinousMedia.com (subscription required)
Wine & Spirits (October 2014) -
"Blended from lots that didn't make it into the flagship Monte Bello, Ridge's 2011
Estate is still a pretty classic Santa Cruz Mountains cabernet, shot through with cassis
aromas, bright acidity and dark, mineral tannins. Tame its taut, tannic density with a rib
eye." (Rated: 91)
California Grapevine (Vol. 40, June 2014):
"Medium dark to dark purplish ruby;
attractive, intense, blackberry fruit aroma with spicy notes and
hints of cassis, cedar, and espresso; full body; big, rich, firmly
structured, blueberry and blackberry fruit flavors; full tannin;
a bit rough on the finish with a note of charred oak; lingering
aftertaste. Needs a few more years of bottle aging. Very highly
(Group Score: 16.1 of 20 points, 1/1/2; My
Score: 17 (90/100), third place)