88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot
93 Points – Owen Bargreen
Santa Cruz Mountains
Saturated purple color with black cherry, plum, black tea, cedar and sweet toasted oak on the nose. Bramble fruit, vanilla, and mint on the palate with well-coated tannins and a long finish. JO (6/21)
A cool, foggy spring delayed budbreak, but warm weather during bloom created ideal conditions for the vines to set a full crop. To maximize extraction pumpovers were extended during fermentation. At assemblage, eighteen parcels were chosen for their alluring fruit and elegant tannins. After sixteen months of aging, the oak has integrated and the wine has begun to soften. It will continue to evolve and be most enjoyable over the next ten to fifteen years.
In 1886 the first blocks of the Monte Bello vineyard were planted and construction on the winery begun. The first vintage was the 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 over sixty-five years old—produced the first Ridge Monte Bello (1962) and subsequent vintages until 1974. By then other abandoned blocks had been replanted 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 became the Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, stressing the principal varietal and the Monte Bello Estate vineyard as its source.
Rainfall: 50.4 inches (above normal)
Bloom: Mid June
Weather: Lots of rain soaked California throughout the winter. Spring rains continued until mid-May. Warm summer weather allowed the large crop to ripen evenly, resulting in an abundant, excellent harvest.
Harvest Dates: 27 September – 19 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.4˚
TA: 6.70 g/L
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and sorted; 100% whole berries fermented on the native yeasts. Pressed at nine days. Natural malolactic initiated in tank, finished in barrel with additional ten weeks of lees contact.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (58% new, 8% one year-old, and 34% two years-old).
Aging: Sixteen months in barrel
Hand-harvested, estate-grown grapes; destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 133 ppm during aging); four egg whites per barrel for tannin reduction; depth filtration at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
OwenBargreen.com: 93 Points “Entirely sourced from the famed Monte Bello Vineyard, the 2019 Ridge ‘Estate’ Cabernet Sauvignon is an outstanding value from this vintage that saw near ideal growing conditions. Graphite and wild blackberry compote mark the nose alongside shades of dark chocolate shavings and pipe tobacco. The palate is very fresh and refined with a soft mouthfeel and soft tannins. Ripe dark currants parade with espresso bean, and shades of chocolate cake on the palate. This is seriously good stuff to enjoy young but the 2019 ‘Estate’ has both the structure and stuffing to go fo another fifteen plus years. Drink 2022-2037” -Owen Bargreen (March 2022)
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