2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

2011 ridge estate

Varietal Information

Monte Bello Vineyard
82% cabernet sauvignon
14% merlot
3% petit verdot
1% cabernet franc

13.0% alcohol by volume




Click below to watch winemaker Eric Baugher describe this wine

History

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 vines—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.


Vintage

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).
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels; (20% new, 40% one and two years old).
Aging: Twenty-One months in barrel


Growing Season

Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late June
Weather: Moderate summer and fall.


Winemaking

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 for this wine (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.

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Aromas of blackberry, red currant, exotic barrel spice, and crushed rock. Intense red fruit on entry with coated tannins, a full body, firm acid, and toasted oak. Complex with layered flavors and a long finish.

Tasting Notes and Reviews


2007 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS ESTATE


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2010/2/27


2007 Ridge Santa Cruz Mtns Estate Proprietary Red


Rating: 88 The lightest of these offerings, the deep ruby/purple-tinged 2007 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate (58% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Merlot) displays a straightforward nose of crushed, jammy red and black fruits, earth, and spice. More narrowly constructed with less richness and intensity than either the 2005 or 2006, with slightly higher acids, this wine finishes a bit sharply. Drink it over the next 7-8 years as it does not have the depth necessary to hold up to extended aging.

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2007 CABERNET SAUVIGNON SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS ESTATE


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2010/8/1


Cabernet Sauvignon


RIDGE Estate Santa Cruz Mountains 2007 SCORE: 86 58% Cab. Sauv; 42% Merlot. This wine presents a nice mix of ripe currants, tobacco and weedy spice in the nose and follows up with like-minded flavors that are more complex than they are aggressively fruity. It is supple and balanced with inconspicuous tannins and is easy to taste if always a bit light on power and drive.

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2006 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS ESTATE


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2010/2/27


2006 Ridge Santa Cruz Mtns Estate Proprietary Red


Rating: 91 A blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate exhibits a similar deep ruby/purple color as well as less complex aromatics, an attractive, round, rich, full-bodied mouthfeel, sweet tannin, and a long finish. This successful 2006 should drink well for 15 years.

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2005 CABERNET SAUVIGNON SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS ESTATE


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2008/4/1


Cabernet Sauvignon


RIDGE VINEYARDS Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains Estate 2005 SCORE: 86 58% Cab. Sauv; 42% Merlot. Not to be confused with or mistaken for Ridge's flagship Montebello Cabernet, this blend of varietals is a straightforward, medium-full-bodied wine that delivers a modest measure of mildly juicy, cherry and blackcurrant fruit. It picks up a touch of weediness in taste and narrows as it crosses the palate, but it could fill out a bit with a few years of age.

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2005 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS ESTATE


Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits - 2008/12/1


Cabernet and Blends -- Best Buys


While Monte Bello is right en pointe in this vintage, Ridge's estate cabernet needs some time to meld. There's a woodland pungency to the ripe cherry fruit, along with riper elements that give a sweeter impression. It's dense and soft, and may evolve into a more seamless blend with time.

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2005 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS ESTATE


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2010/2/27


2005 Ridge Santa Cruz Mtns Estate Proprietary Red


Rating: 92 < The sensational 2005 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate (58% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Merlot) reveals a dense purple color as well as a big, sweet nose of black currants, black cherries, earth, and spice. It possesses good structure, beautiful density and richness, and is already drinking reasonably well. It should continue to evolve for 15-20 years.

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2004 CABERNET SAUVIGNON SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS


Patrick Comiskey, Los Angeles Times - 2007/6/27


Lining up some fine Ridge wines


2004 Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains. This year's blend is 51% Cabernet and 47% Merlot. It leads with a dark and briary scent, supporting fruit aromas of black currant and blackberry. Its flavors are fresh and immediate, with a dark, juicy currant fruit flavor giving way to an intensely vinous mouth-feel and firm, earthy tannins.

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2004 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2007/4/1


Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Blends


2004 Ridge, Santa Cruz Mountain ($40) -- Medium-dark ruby; attractive, rich, intense, spicy, red berry fruit aroma with note of leather and coffee bean; medium-full body; herbal, somewhat green, cranberry and cherry fruit flavors; medium-full to full tannin, tight, lean finish; lingering aftertaste. Relatively easy to drink now. Grapes from select blocks of their Monte Bello Vineyard. Highly recommended. 13.0% alcohol; 5,000 cases; a blend of 51% CS, 47% Merlot, 1% PV, and 1% CF; released April 2007. (Group Score: 15.4, 0/0/0; My Score: 16.5 [85/100], eleventh place)

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2003 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS


Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits - 2006/12/1


American Cabernet


2003 Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon At its high elevation, Ridge grew firm, balanced cabernet in 2003, without the thickness or stewy fruit that plagued so many North Coast wines. This one has firm red fruit layered with red spices, its weight well modulated, its flavors long. The tannins make it soft enough to decant for current drinking, though a few years in the cellar will bring out more depth and complexity. (3,500 cases) Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, CA Recommended ~ SCORE 90

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2003 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 2006/9/1


New Releases from California's Central Coast


2003 Red Wine Santa Cruz Mountains ($33; a blend of 68% cabernet sauvignon, 23% merlot, 5% petit verdot and 4% cabernet franc): Bright ruby-red. Currant, flowers, chocolate and sexy oak scents on the nose. Supple on entry, then rather green in the middle, with herbs, licorice and strong oak notes currently dominating. Rather tart and dry on the end. SCORE: 86

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2000 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2003/12/23


California Dreamin' - Deja Vu


The 2000 Proprietary Red Wine (the words "Monte Bello" do not appear on the label) is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, and 8% Petit Verdot. A dense ruby color is followed by scents of chocolate, forest floor, dried herbs, tree bark, and smoke. Medium-bodied, rich, but firm, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring. This elegant red should drink well for 10-12 years. SCORE: 91

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2000 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET


James Laube, Wine Spectator - 2003/12/15


New Releases: California


Ridge Monte Bello Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains 2000 $30 Tightly wound, with a solid core of cedary currant, herb, tobacco and tarry flavors, with chunky tannins. Selected from the lots that didn't make the Monte Bello bottling. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2006. 3,200 cases made. SCORE: 86

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2000 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2003/12/1


Cabernet Sauvignon


RIDGE Santa Cruz Mountains 2000 64% Cabernet Sauvignon; 28% Merlot; 8% Petit Verdot. Not to be confused with the Ridge's marquee Montebello bottling, this firm, woodsy, tannin-framed effort is short on charm and attenuated in fruit. More stiff than supple and wanting for a bit more meat on its bones, it may age into suppleness, but time will not bring the additional stuffing that it requires for real success.

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1999 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2002/12/1


Cabernet Sauvignon


* RIDGE Santa Cruz Mountains 1999 Monte Bello Vineyard. 15% Petit Verdot; 6% Merlot. The second bottling from Ridge's famous home vineyard, this one smells and tastes of cocoa, cream, vanilla and nicely concentrated but not flamboyantly expressed ripe cherry fruit. It is supple and rich on the palate with medium-depth, reasonably rich flavors and just enough tannin for grip. It is among the best of the second-tier offerings in this issue and, given today's Cabernet market, is an attractive wine at the price. Score: 88. $30.00

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1999 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits - 2002/12/1


Cabernet Sauvignon & Red Blends


1999 Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon --- $30 Score: 92 Bright, deep purple in color, electric blue in flavor, this sweet, heady cabernet is generous in its fruit. The aromas are complex, mellifluous, in harmony. The texture is supple, gliding along, pumping flavor into the finish. A touch green in the end, but that's only one of the layers of complexity. More accessible than the '99 Monte Bello recommended on page 91. $30 Score: 92

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1995 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Joe Sullivan, The Insiders' Wine Line - 1997/12/1



A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot, has a perfumed nose of cherry, cassis, plum, spice, berries and pepper, hinting of vanilla. It's rich and balanced on the palate, with flavors such as the nose would suggest with an additional hint of licorice, followed by a bright, fruity finish with moderate tannins.

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1995 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 1998/1/1


Current California Releases


Deep red-ruby color. Cassis, minerals, smoke and earth on the nose. Juicy and intensely flavored, but a bit screechy, with a flavor of dark berries. Slightly dry on the finish. Needs to soften in bottle, but is there enough depth of flavor here to reward aging?

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1995 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Claude Kolm, Fine Wine Review - 1901/1/1



Formerly just the second wine of the Ridge Monte Bello, in 1995 the wines takes on its own identity with separate parcels contributing. The wine is a cross between Chateau Latour and Leoville-las-Cases with a touch of California thrown in: some oak, cherry, and cassis in a firm body, but without being an overpowering brute. Delicious now, the wine also has a future of at least 10-15 years.

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1995 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Olken & Singer, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 1998/2/1



Labeled curiously as Cabernet (sans Sauvignon or Franc), this junior partner to Ridge's flagship "Monte Bello" bottling tends to brushiness and leafy spice in both its aromas and flavors, and in every venue places minimal emphasis on fruit. It steers to leanness rather than succulence and, it essential impressions of austerity are heightened by the pushy astringency that frames its otherwise limited finish.

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1995 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


John Tilson, Underground Wine Journal - 1901/1/1



BARREL SAMPLE: Dark color. Great perfume. Terrific fruit, rich, toasty, earthy nuances. Soft tannins.

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1994 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Joe Sullivan, The Insiders' Wine Line - 1996/10/31



Has a bouquet of black cherry, black currant, berries, chocolate, licorice, spice and vanilla. The flavors of black pit fruits, berries, licorice, spice and vanilla are rich and intense, with very good depth and balance, followed by a lingering, fruity, expansive finish with integrated tannins.

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1994 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Claude Kolm, Fine Wine Review - 1901/1/1



In essence, the Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet is the second wine, meant for earlier drinking than Monte Bello. At this point, the wine is still closed and a bit tannic, but with outstanding depth and potential showing. Nevertheless, hints of spice in the nose are evident, and in the mouth, the wine shows concentration, depth, and finesse with crushed cassis and cherry fruit. The wine can be drunk already because of its satiny texture, but I expect it to be much more rewarding with 8-12 years’ further aging.

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1994 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 1997/5/31



Good dark red. Black cherry, black olive, herbs, tar, coffee and spices on the nose. Soft cherry-flavored fruit offers modest nuance and delineation. Some oak tannins currently stand out on the finish.

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1994 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Susan Vumback Low, Wine Magazine - 1997/5/1



To Bruce, this wine was 'aromatic and long' with pleasant 'forward minty, cherryish fruit' and soft tannins on the finish. Ciaran concluded the wine was 'young, with all the components of a long-lived style'. He tasted firm acidity and concentrated ripe, red fruit with 'firm oak treatment'.

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1994 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 1996/11/30



Deep ruby-red. Sauvage aromas of game, leather, animal fur and chocolate malt. Supple entry, then somewhat unyielding despite decent intensity. The finish is a bit tart and attenuated.

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1994 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


John Tilson, Underground Wine Journal - 1901/1/1



Is deeply scented with blackberries. The superb blackberry flavors, laced with chocolate and spice, are intensely rich, beautifully balanced, with good backbone and excellent length -- sensational wine.

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1993 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Adam Strum, Wine Enthusiast - 1996/12/1



Bright ruby to the rim. Medium-bodied. Balanced acidity. Highly extracted. Moderately oaked. Mildly tannic. Black cherries, brown spices, cocoa. Deeply flavored with a generous presence on the palate. The flavors cascade through the attractive finish.

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1993 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 1995/11/1



Deep red-ruby. Vibrant nose of cassis, black cherry, coffee and sweet butter. Sweet black cherry fruit offers very good intensity yet seems slightly pinched and unbending for a Ridge red wine.

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1993 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


James Laube, Wine Spectator - 1995/12/15


California Cabernet


Pleasant, with a touch of herb and currant, this medium weight wine reflects the character of the 1993 vintage with its trim band of flavors.

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1993 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Joe Sullivan, The Insiders' Wine Line - 1995/12/31



Dark ruby, has a forward perfumed nose of black cherry, black currant, vanilla, cocoa, blackberry and spice. The flavors of rich, ripe cherry/berry/cassis and sweet vanilla are round and balanced, has good depth and structure as well as a fruity, spicy finish in a full-bodied style.

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1993 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Christine Graham, Underground Wine Journal - 1995/10/1



Concentrated nose and palate of blackberry, cassis, spice, vanilla and cigar box. The palate is forward with bright fruit and soft, well integrated tannins that provide sound balance and structure for several years of pleasurable drinking.

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1993 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Olken & Singer, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 1996/2/1


Cabernet Sauvignon


Exhibiting dryish ripe black cherry scents tinged with dark chocolate and hints of tar and wet meadows, the wine is a bit on the soft, fleshy side on the palate with moderate tannins providing a needed bit of spine. At the finish, it finds its fruit withdrawing in favor of dry and tart elements.

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1993 SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CABERNET SAUVIGNON


Claude Kolm, Fine Wine Review - 1901/1/1



Just as Ridge’s Monte Bello is the Chateau Latour of California, so its Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet is the Forts de Latour. The wine is made from grapes that do not go into Monte Bello or into Jimsomare bottlings, from another fine vineyard lower down the mountain. Yet the character is there. This is a deep, balanced, concentrated wine. The smoky blackberry and raspberry fruit with almond overtones make the wine immediately drinkable, but there is enough depth and tannin to suggest positive aging for 8-10 years more.

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