100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Cruz Mountains
Purple to saturated ruby; pungent mountain bramble, chaparral, eucalyptus, roasted vegetables, and fennel; full bodied, firm tannin structure, black olive, cassis, eucalyptus, licorice, sweet toasty oak, ferric minerals, long, intense finish.
The historic Pierre Klein vineyard, established in 1888, won a gold medal for its cabernet at the Paris Exhibition of 1900. The vineyard fell into decline during Prohibition, and in 1936 it was purchased by the Schwabacher family, who began replanting in the early 1970s. Ridge bottled cabernet from the property in 1978, and took over farming in 1996. The 2011 growing season was among the coldest of the last fifty years. We thinned rigorously, and harvested in late October. The grapes were destemmed, but left uncrushed. We pressed on the eighth day, and uninoculated malolactic finished in new american oak barrels. The wine remained on its lees for three months before the first rack. Twenty months in barrel has integrated tannins, and developed wonderful complexity. This fine cabernet can be enjoyed over the next fifteen years. EB (6/13)
Pierre Klein, an Alsatian, purchased his Mira Valle property on Monte Bello Ridge in 1888. He planted cabernet sauvignon— probably the other Bordeaux varietals as well—and aspired to produce wines as great as those of the Médoc. During this early period of California’s wine industry, little cabernet was grown. Klein’s was one of the exceptions, and won a gold medal at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. Unfortunately, Prohibition led to the demise of Mira Valle and the abandonment of the vineyard. The Schwabacher family of San Francisco bought Klein’s land in 1936, renaming it “Jimsomare.” At our suggestion and with our support cabernet was replanted in the early seventies; Ridge produced a small quantity of Jimsomare Cabernet from 1978 until 1997. When Ridge took over the vineyard in 1996, it became part of the Monte Bello estate vineyard. This year, we selected a limited number of barrels from the La Casita parcel for a separate bottling, and named it for the original owner. This excellent cabernet sauvignon will develop its full complexity over the next fifteen to twenty years.
Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late June
Weather: Moderate summer and fall, long cool growing season
Harvest Dates: 28 – 29 October
Grapes: Average Brix 23.2˚
Fermentation: Destemmed, but left uncrushed as whole berries; automated berry sorting; floating cap, daily pump-overs. Pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% new air-dried american oak
Aging: Twenty months in barrel
Estate-grown Monte Bello vineyard grapes, hand harvested; destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (30 ppm at crush, 105 ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 91.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 18
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