Ridge's 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate may very well be the single finest value in California Cabernet Sauvignon in its price range. Rich and explosive, with plenty of vintage 2012 exuberance, the Estate Cabernet hits the palate with masses of dark, concentrated fruit that nearly buries the mountain tannins. There is plenty of tension, beneath although 2012 remains radiant and incredibly appealing today. Shades of tar, graphite and smoke add darkness on the finish. The 2012 could use a few years in bottle to shed some of its baby fat, but it is remarkable by any measure. I don't think there is a finer California Cabernet Sauvignon today at this price, but if there is, I would like to taste it. (AG)
Another terrific wine, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (incorporates 24% Merlot) is an inky, structured effort that has lots of blackberry, cassis, scorched earth and toasted spice notes giving way to a full-bodied, concentrated and tannic profile on the palate. Beautifully concentrated, it still has a serious amount of tannin and I wouldn't touch a bottle for another 4-5 years. It will have an easy two decades or more of overall longevity. (JD)
Ridge’s Estate Cabernet consists of lots that don’t make it into the Monte Bello-- often blocks with richer soils. The 2012 smells and tastes a lot like Monte Bello, with deeply savory aromas of matsutake and cedar that lead into a deep wash of black currant flavor. It’s the structure that’s different--broader, with fat, chewy tannins that distinguish it from Monte Bello’s seamless elegance. The pungency of its American oak--potent vanilla and fennel aromas--integrates with air, while bright mountain-grown acidity focuses the finish toward a graceful red-fruit character. It’s an appetizing cabernet that deserves another five years in bottle.
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