Ridge’s Estate cabernet is usually a bit chunkier and broader than the Monte Bello blend, rarely as pure and elegant. If that’s the case in 2013, the Monte Bello is going to be a wine for the ages, because the Estate cabernet is stellar. It catches the savory nuances of fruit grown at cool altitude in aromas of cassis and cedar bark, holding that fruit in a matrix of fine limestone-grown tannins and vibrant acidity. That acidity drives a compressed, unstoppable arrow of flavor that’s tense and a bit backward, as a great young cabernet should be. Treat this like Monte Bello proper—don’t think about touching it until its tenth birthday.
Ridge's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is fabulous. Beams of tannin and acidity make a strong opening statement, but there is more than enough fruit to fill out the wine's frame. This is an especially dark, virile Estate. Then again, that is 2013. Inky blue/purplish fruit, licorice, sage, exotic spices and lavender grace the exquisite finish. This is an absolutely delicious mountain Cabernet endowed with real pedigree and class. It is also arguably the single greatest value in California Cabernet Sauvignon. (AG)
Pure and refined, showing a sleek delivery of juicy blackberry, currant, toasty oak and dried herb flavors, with crushed rock minerality and a long, balanced finish that brings you back for another sip. (JL)
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)