Ridgeline Vineyards2002 Cabernet Sauvignon
Frequently, we resist writing about a launch. There have been flash in the pan wines and we look for consistency. Yet, we have more than a hunch about the newly-released 2002 Ridgeline Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Here's why: Ridgeline Vineyards is a new boutique brand debuted by the ever-reliable Codorniu of Spain; the winemaker is talented Dave Dobson, who makes wine for Artesa Winery, also owned by Codorniu; grapes were sourced from the 80-acre Oak Mountain Ranch Estate Vineyard, at elevations ranging from 800 to 1,500 feet above the Alexander Valley floor in northern Sonoma County.
Oak Mountain Ranch Estate was planted to four Bordeaux varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec – by Codorniu in the late 1990s and divided into six vineyard blocks, with east-west exposure to maximize sunlight on the vines and on a north-south vertical axis for perfect soil drainage.
For this 2002 release, Dobson blended Oak Mountain Ranch grapes with fruit sourced from Alexander Valley growers to create a wine showcasing the best traits of Alexander Valley Cabernet: lush, mouth-filling plum fruit with round blackberry overtones, enhanced by barrel spiciness from 30 months aging in French oak cooperage.
It's a wine with both power and elegance to accompany a simply grilled steak or add a satisfying complement to savory, long-cooked meats such as lamb shanks.
Reviewed October 4, 2006 by Eleanor & Ray Heald.
Eleanor & Ray Heald
The Healds have been writing about wine since 1978 and have focused on appellation significance in many of their world beat writings. They value recognizing site personality (terroir) within an appellation's wines. They praise balance and elegance in wines styled to pair well with food and eschew over-extraction, high alcohol and heavy-handed oak. “Delicious” is their favorite descriptor for a great, well-made wine.