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2016 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon SKU #1408704

Price: $59.95

JD 94 JS 94 VN 94
RP 93 WS 92 W&S 91
CG 90
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Staff Reviews

  • Robert Cash
    By: Robert Cash
    K&L Staff Member
    Ridge has been one of my favorite California wineries for many years They produce wines of exceptional craftsmanship and elegance at all price points. I recently had the pleasure of tasting this 2016 Estate and was left thoroughly impressed. Very dark purple, almost opaque in the glass with a deep powerful nose of dark fruit, cigar box, cassis, and forest floor with a seamless wrapping of oak. Frankly, there are just a plethora of lovely aromas to be discovered. Truly wonderful. On the palate, it's rich, complex, layered and full without being overbearing or heavy handed. I tasted the flagship Ridge Monte Bello many years ago and the impression it left is still with me. The Estate ticks all the boxes that the Monte Bello did for me at a more affordable price point, and requiring less aging. Drink now and over the next few years with any grilled meats. To me, this is the epitome of great California Cabernet.
  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    California Cabernet at its best. There is wonderful fruit but it is balanced out with structure and complexity.Over the past year there are few domestic cabernets that have so impressed me. This will be a great wine for a special dinner.
  • Chris DePaoli
    By: Chris DePaoli
    K&L Staff Member
    For as much noise as is made about the "Estate" bottling's origins from the Monte Bello Vineyard and the relative accessibility of the juice, so little is said about just how good this cuvee is year in and year out. The 2016 edition is as good as you would expect from such a generous vintage and is still as easy to drink at release as it has always been, with cleaner lines and more focused notes than many California Cabs. A ridiculously dark purple, the nose is dominated by dark cassis and earl grey tea, both of which are found on the palate along with sage, white peppercorn, and salal. Such a good drink.
  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    Recently I was lucky enough to taste five decades of Ridge Monte Bello with winemaker, Eric Baugher. We tasted 1975, 1985, 1995 (all from large format), 2005, 2015, 2016 and 2018 from barrel. It was incredible. However, one of my biggest takeaways from the tasting was how much of an absolute steal the "Estate" Cabernet is - a true Baby Monte Bello. It was very interesting to hear Eric speak to how the selection of what makes "Monte Bello" vs "Estate" is done purely on structural characters that start to show during the fermentation stage. It's not older blocks vs younger ones, or better blocks vs under-performing ones, it's a true assessment of age-ability vs accessibility. Everything is farmed the same (organically and largely dry-farmed), cropped the same, made the same. The Estate Cab is simply an expression of that same site that shows its true colors earlier in life than the more tannic, structured, tightly wound Monte Bello bottling. In fact tasting them side-by-side is very fun...the similarities in flavor are striking. Eric believes the 2016 Monte Bello has the potential to be the longest lived release of that wine in history...a "50-100 year wine." So unless you have a deep cellar and incredible patience, the Estate Cab might be a good option! I was so excited about how good the 2016 Estate Cab was we managed to secure a bit more wine than usual this year and I hope many of you will take advantage and snap up some bottles or cases. It won't disappoint.


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