Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Stony Ridge WineryCabernet Sauvignon

Stony Ridge Winery

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
(Livermore Valley)

Winemaker Dale Vaughn-Bowen certainly put together an interesting blend of Livermore grapes for this very appealing wine. It contains fruit from 5 different Livermore vineyards, including the Blue Oak, Del Arroyo, Clark, McGrail and Toy sites. The wine contains 89.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.9% Petite Sirah and 3.4% Touriga Nacional. When was the last time you saw that in a Cabernet? Dale explains that the Cab is actually several different clones: the majority is clone 7, which she characterizes as fruity and medium bodied, while the hillside clone 337 adds depth, and clones 8 and 15 add backbone and tannins. The addition of the Petite and the Touriga Nacional did indeed round it out. She suggests serving it with a T-bone steak smothered with grilled onions and mushrooms – a very good recommendation. We had it with some fine top sirloin marinated in a wine reduction sauce and coated with cracked pepper and Fleur de Sel coarse salt. It was most excellent.

This wine has a perfect Cab nose: it is all Bordeaux all the time. It’s cassis, pepper and elderberry in the nose, with leather, plum tart, ripe cherries, and a hit of basil and oregano on the palate. The smoke from the American oak and the mocha from the French barrels add complexity throughout. Great mouthfeel, good acid, nice tannins: keeps opening up to new flavors. This wine has so many layers, it makes a Sacher torte look downright simple. I’ve had Cabs that cost twice as much that couldn’t hold a fork to this wine. There is no doubt at all about why this wine is flying out of the tasting room.

(Alc: 15.3, Retail: $17)

Reviewed August 28, 2006 by Laura Ness.

Other reviewed wines from Stony Ridge Winery


The Wine

Winery: Stony Ridge Winery
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Livermore Valley
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (90%), Petite Sirah (7%), Touriga Nacional (3%)
Price: 750ml $17.00

Review Date: 8/28/2006

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.