TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

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Robert.A.Jr.
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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#1 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 19th, 2017, 4:43 pm

Yea, I know it's a baby.

But curiosity got the better of me. Thanks to SR. DC. Counsel, I grabbed six of these, so gotta check on one. It is a relatively new bottling for Ridge, after all.

Apparently the Torre Vineyard cabernet comes from two steep parcels within the original Torre Vineyard Ranch, 2300 feet elevation, which has been used in the Monte Bello blend for years. The vineyard was replanted in the 1940s, so relatively old vines. The wine is comprised of 100% cabernet, in contradistinction to the Estate Cab, which has 75%, and Monte Bello, which is 80% cab. The Torre is also the lowest of the three in ABV, at 13.2%.

Enough with the specs.

The wine is aromatically powerful. A pungent display of ripe, sweet dark fruits, cassis, black cherry and black raspberries, as if someone took a wood mallet and pounded out the fresh fruits on a wood cutting board right in front of you. Really gorgeous fruit. Ridge's omnipresent vanilla is there, too, but dominated by the fruits. Notably on day two, this flips, and the new American oak really comes to the fore on the nose.

For a Francophile like me, this is a powerful, full-bodied cab. Weighty on the palate. Obviously still primary, but displays a really nice array of blue and black fruits, and on day two, the red spectrum and acid are better revealed. The acid on day two has taken on a bit of a masking of the wood from day one, which was a bit of a turn-off.

I like it. I like it lots. Totally a Ridge wine, an easy signature (Draper perfume) to identify. Will be very curious to follow this wine over time and hope that the new American oak integrates and balances better. The wood remains disjointed at this young age.

And therein underscores my point raised early about the Ridge Estate Cab: These wines IMHO would be far better with less new oak, and frankly, perhaps just French oak. For whatever reason, the winemaker chose 100% new American oak for this new release, matured for 21 mos. The Ridge Estate Cab had 48% new oak, and even that was too much IMHO.

My recent note on the 2013 Estate Cab:

http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... dge+estate
Last edited by Robert.A.Jr. on January 19th, 2017, 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Post by Fred Bower » January 19th, 2017, 5:29 pm

I suspect that Ridge has more institutional knowledge of American oak than any other winery that isn't in Spain. Hate on it if you like. It works for them with sufficient time. I'm a fanboy for sure. Monte Bello is the only California Cabernet-based wine I buy on futures. I bought some of all of the Torre, Perrone, Rousten, and Klein that I've been able to. I think these will make for the nerdiest of fun times as a character study of the genius of Paul and company when opened in a side-by-side with the Monte Bello at mid-maturity in a decade or two.

For the record, I opened a Torre Merlot (2011) earlier this year - my first of these new offerings - and was uninspired, but found it very pleasant red wine.

I can afford to be patient.

fred

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#3 Post by Neal.Mollen » January 19th, 2017, 5:50 pm

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:Yea, I know it's a baby.

But curiosity got the better of me. Thanks to SR. DC. Counsel, I grabbed six of these, so gotta check on one. It is a relatively new bottling for Ridge, after all.

Apparently the Torre Vineyard cabernet comes from two steep parcels within the original Torre Vineyard Ranch, 2300 feet elevation, which has been used in the Monte Bello blend for years. The vineyard was replanted in the 1940s, so relatively old vines. The wine is comprised of 100% cabernet, in contradistinction to the Estate Cab, which has 75%, and Monte Bello, which is 80% cab. The Torre is also the lowest of the three in ABV, at 13.2%.

Enough with the specs.

The wine is aromatically powerful. A pungent display of macerated, sweet dark fruits, cassis, black cherry and black raspberries, as if someone took a wood mallet and pounded out the fresh fruits on a wood cutting board right in front of you. Really gorgeous fruit. Ridge's omnipresent vanilla is there, too, but dominated by the fruits. Notably on day two, this flips, and the new American oak really comes to the fore on the nose.

For a Francophile like me, this is a powerful, full-bodied cab. Weighty on the palate. Obviously still primary, but displays a really nice array of blue and black fruits, and on day two, the red spectrum and acid are better revealed. The acid on day two has taken on a bit of a masking of the wood from day one, which was a bit of a turn-off.

I like it. I like it lots. Totally a Ridge wine, an easy signature (Draper perfume) to identify. Will be very curious to follow this wine over time and hope that the new American oak integrates and balances better. The wood remains disjointed at this young age.

And therein underscores my point raised early about the Ridge Estate Cab: These wines IMHO would be far better with less new oak, and frankly, perhaps just French oak. For whatever reason, the winemaker chose 100% new American oak for this new release, matured for 21 mos. The Ridge Estate Cab had 48% new oak, and even that was too much IMHO.

My recent note on the 2013 Estate Cab:

http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... dge+estate
Ha! I appreciate you taking one for the team. I've actually pulled the wine out of the rack and then thought better of it. Sounds like it s going to be lovely with time.
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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#4 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 19th, 2017, 6:01 pm

This is a broad appeal wine, Neal.

Ridge produced some major winners in 2013, and then I'm even more blown away by the 2014 Geyserville.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#5 Post by Neal.Mollen » January 19th, 2017, 6:06 pm

Glad to be on the Monte Bello list. At some point, soon, I am going to have to stop buying 20 year wines, but the optimist gets the best of me every time. People live long lives in my family
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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#6 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 19th, 2017, 6:20 pm

I'm not thinking about my longevity - I think I go long given my health and family (fingers crossed) - I think more about palate degradation. I saw how my father's palate changed in his 70s. Now that said, Ridge remains smack in his wheelhouse. He no longer drinks the more nuanced French wines that I grew up with, unless it's Southern Rhone! Ridge seems to have that cross-appeal.

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#7 Post by Todd F r e n c h » January 19th, 2017, 6:21 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:Glad to be on the Monte Bello list. At some point, soon, I am going to have to stop buying 20 year wines, but the optimist gets the best of me every time. People live long lives in my family
Leave them to me in your will, just in case.

#problemsolved
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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#8 Post by Neal.Mollen » January 19th, 2017, 6:27 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Neal.Mollen wrote:Glad to be on the Monte Bello list. At some point, soon, I am going to have to stop buying 20 year wines, but the optimist gets the best of me every time. People live long lives in my family
Leave them to me in your will, just in case.

#problemsolved
My wife and son have the phone numbers of two dealers to get appraisals and to buy the cellar. It won't be much in the scheme of things (and I intend to put as big a dent in it as possible) but it will have some value
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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#9 Post by M. Dildine » January 19th, 2017, 6:54 pm

If you can't drink your Monte Bello, you can always sell it. An excellent value in fine wine and very fungible. It's the most expensive wine I buy, but not one I worry about. Plus, my son likes it!
Cheers,

Mike

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#10 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » October 25th, 2017, 6:47 pm

I swore I would not pop another for many years to come but a good friend wanted to try this.

Lots to love despite the omnipresence of wood. Great depth of fruit, very ripe spectrum of dark fruits but propped up by a killer array of red citrus fruits. The citrus on this wine is excellent.

A big hit at the table.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#11 Post by Larry Stein » October 25th, 2017, 7:56 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:Glad to be on the Monte Bello list. At some point, soon, I am going to have to stop buying 20 year wines, but the optimist gets the best of me every time. People live long lives in my family
I bought 375s and passed on 750s when Monty futures were offered this year. I figure I have a halfway decent chance of seeing them mature (I’m 63).

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#12 Post by George Chadwick » October 26th, 2017, 12:44 am

I've had the 2013 Torre cab twice. Once it was beautiful and unique and almost minerally and great. The other time I gagged on American oak and realized that in ten years, maybe fifteen, the oak would be gone. Either way it was so ridiculously in my wheelhouse. But I won't open one of mine for ten years. I'd gag on the oak. Maybe. The Estate Cab behaves the same way in its first ten years. Gagging oak one day, perfect wine the next, or vice versa.

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#13 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » October 26th, 2017, 5:24 am

George Chadwick wrote:I've had the 2013 Torre cab twice. Once it was beautiful and unique and almost minerally and great. The other time I gagged on American oak and realized that in ten years, maybe fifteen, the oak would be gone. Either way it was so ridiculously in my wheelhouse. But I won't open one of mine for ten years. I'd gag on the oak. Maybe. The Estate Cab behaves the same way in its first ten years. Gagging oak one day, perfect wine the next, or vice versa.
I withheld buying any of the 2014 Cabs for this very reason.

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#14 Post by Todd F r e n c h » October 26th, 2017, 9:53 am

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:
And therein underscores my point raised early about the Ridge Estate Cab: These wines IMHO would be far better with less new oak, and frankly, perhaps just French oak. For whatever reason, the winemaker chose 100% new American oak for this new release, matured for 21 mos. The Ridge Estate Cab had 48% new oak, and even that was too much IMHO.
You should start a wine benchmarking service!

I think the signs are clear that you should do this, as look at the number of views:
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 10.03.27 AM.png
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#15 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » October 26th, 2017, 12:46 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:
And therein underscores my point raised early about the Ridge Estate Cab: These wines IMHO would be far better with less new oak, and frankly, perhaps just French oak. For whatever reason, the winemaker chose 100% new American oak for this new release, matured for 21 mos. The Ridge Estate Cab had 48% new oak, and even that was too much IMHO.
You should start a wine benchmarking service!

I think the signs are clear that you should do this, as look at the number of views:
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 10.03.27 AM.png
I bill by the hour. I cannot honor TWA's low price!

;)

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#16 Post by Todd F r e n c h » October 26th, 2017, 1:30 pm

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:
Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:
And therein underscores my point raised early about the Ridge Estate Cab: These wines IMHO would be far better with less new oak, and frankly, perhaps just French oak. For whatever reason, the winemaker chose 100% new American oak for this new release, matured for 21 mos. The Ridge Estate Cab had 48% new oak, and even that was too much IMHO.
You should start a wine benchmarking service!

I think the signs are clear that you should do this, as look at the number of views:
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 10.03.27 AM.png
I bill by the hour. I cannot honor TWA's low price!

;)
Since they cancelled it as fast as they introduced it, you can set the market price!
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#17 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » October 26th, 2017, 2:10 pm

You actually are quite brilliant, Todd. If you think about it, and my tastes, my benchmarking will cause the wine to go down in critics' scoring and pricing drops will follow.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

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Re: TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#18 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 23rd, 2020, 7:48 am

Popped another 2013 Torre on Thursday, finished the remainder last night. Sticking to my guns on this one, way over-oaked. And a damn shame as the underlying fruit is gorgeous. A very pungent vanilla coconut perfume on day one, which toned down in day two a little bit, but then out comes the heavy new oak notes on the palate and some astringency. Todd says the oak will integrate, I honestly doubt it on this wine. It may tone down, but it ain’t going away.

Not sure why Ridge went so heavy here. The Torre got 100% new American oak for 21 mos. The Monte Bello got 98% new American oak and 2% French for 16 months. For my palate, these would be much better wines in French oak, or at the very least, tone down the heavy use of pungent new American oak. I get the Draper perfume, been drinking his Zins since the 1991 Geyserville came out. It’s the only wine in the Ridge portfolio that I continue to buy. I’ve stopped all other purchases. I’ve got quite a bit of the Cabs, including 3 left of this Torre, to follow over the long cycle.

8C724442-66C7-46B9-A42E-ECD201BAFD01.jpeg
Last edited by Robert.A.Jr. on May 23rd, 2020, 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#19 Post by MitchTallan » May 23rd, 2020, 8:26 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 7:48 am
Popped another 2013 Torre on Thursday, finished the remainder last night. Sticking to my guns on this one, way over-oaked. And a damn shame as the underlying fruit is gorgeous. A very pungent vanilla coconut perfume on day one, which toned down in day two a little bit, but then outcome the heavy new oak notes on the palate and some astringency. Todd says the oak will integrate, I honestly doubt it on this wine. It may tone down, but it ain’t going away.

Not sure why Ridge went so heavy here. The Torre got 100% new American oak for 21 mos. The Monte Bello got 98% new American oak and 2% French for 16 months. For my palate, these would be much better wines in French oak, or at the very least, tone down the heavy use of pungent new American oak. I get the Draper perfume, being drinking his Zins since the 1991 Geyserville came out. It’s the only wine in the Ridge portfolio that I continue to buy. I’ve stopped all other purchases. I’ve got quite a bit of the Cabs, including 3 left of this Torre, to follow over the long cycle.


8C724442-66C7-46B9-A42E-ECD201BAFD01.jpeg
Piker. I have Park Muscatines dating back to the early 80's and some other assorted Ridges going back to '77 and at one time had them dating back to '70. Helped that at some point my dad worked with Charles Rosen on AI projects for a few years. It sounds like we had similar experiences growing up with wine and our dads-mine bought only Bordeaux and Burgundy and started pouring me half a glass on Friday nights at the age of 13. Ridge was the first California red he appreciated and started to buy.
IMHO, the Ridge Petite Sirah's demonstrate how American Oak integrates with time in both a good and bad way. Good in that the oak does integrate after 20 years and more. Bad because the abundant but astringent fruit dies off before the oak does. I must still have four or five cases of Ridge PS dating back to '77 including multiple vintages of Dynamite Hill (which at various points in time and drinking windows could be stellar) and I don't particularly enjoy drinking them. They were like jumping onto moving trains-you had to have your timing just right and get lucky. I only have maybe five assorted vintages of MB stocked. Most times I simply failed to pull the trigger at what seemed at the time to be high prices. I don't regret it too much-for my money-the Geezer-though different-provides 94% of the pleasure at 25% of the price.

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Re: TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#20 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 23rd, 2020, 9:08 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 7:48 am
Popped another 2013 Torre on Thursday, finished the remainder last night. Sticking to my guns on this one, way over-oaked. And a damn shame as the underlying fruit is gorgeous. A very pungent vanilla coconut perfume on day one, which toned down in day two a little bit, but then out comes the heavy new oak notes on the palate and some astringency. Todd says the oak will integrate, I honestly doubt it on this wine. It may tone down, but it ain’t going away.

Not sure why Ridge went so heavy here. The Torre got 100% new American oak for 21 mos. The Monte Bello got 98% new American oak and 2% French for 16 months. For my palate, these would be much better wines in French oak, or at the very least, tone down the heavy use of pungent new American oak. I get the Draper perfume, been drinking his Zins since the 1991 Geyserville came out. It’s the only wine in the Ridge portfolio that I continue to buy. I’ve stopped all other purchases. I’ve got quite a bit of the Cabs, including 3 left of this Torre, to follow over the long cycle.


8C724442-66C7-46B9-A42E-ECD201BAFD01.jpeg
I still haven't opened the first of them Robert. Maybe I should.
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Re: TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#21 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » May 23rd, 2020, 9:25 am

Honestly Neal, give it three more years or so. No fear of the fruit drying out this early. The fruit is deep.

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Re: TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#22 Post by Marshall Manning » May 23rd, 2020, 10:46 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 7:48 am
Popped another 2013 Torre on Thursday, finished the remainder last night. Sticking to my guns on this one, way over-oaked. And a damn shame as the underlying fruit is gorgeous. A very pungent vanilla coconut perfume on day one, which toned down in day two a little bit, but then out comes the heavy new oak notes on the palate and some astringency. Todd says the oak will integrate, I honestly doubt it on this wine. It may tone down, but it ain’t going away.

Not sure why Ridge went so heavy here. The Torre got 100% new American oak for 21 mos. The Monte Bello got 98% new American oak and 2% French for 16 months. For my palate, these would be much better wines in French oak, or at the very least, tone down the heavy use of pungent new American oak. I get the Draper perfume, been drinking his Zins since the 1991 Geyserville came out. It’s the only wine in the Ridge portfolio that I continue to buy. I’ve stopped all other purchases. I’ve got quite a bit of the Cabs, including 3 left of this Torre, to follow over the long cycle.
I used to be a big Ridge fan with the late-'80s and early-'90s wines, was in ATP, etc. It seems the new oak usage increased around 1995 and it just became too much. I'm sure I'd appreciate an aged Monte Bello from that time if someone opened one, but I just don't like American oak, especially a high percentage of it. If I want whiskey I'll buy that...it's a lot cheaper!
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Re: TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#23 Post by Howard Cooper » May 23rd, 2020, 3:22 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 7:48 am
Popped another 2013 Torre on Thursday, finished the remainder last night. Sticking to my guns on this one, way over-oaked. And a damn shame as the underlying fruit is gorgeous. A very pungent vanilla coconut perfume on day one, which toned down in day two a little bit, but then out comes the heavy new oak notes on the palate and some astringency. Todd says the oak will integrate, I honestly doubt it on this wine. It may tone down, but it ain’t going away.

Not sure why Ridge went so heavy here. The Torre got 100% new American oak for 21 mos. The Monte Bello got 98% new American oak and 2% French for 16 months. For my palate, these would be much better wines in French oak, or at the very least, tone down the heavy use of pungent new American oak. I get the Draper perfume, been drinking his Zins since the 1991 Geyserville came out. It’s the only wine in the Ridge portfolio that I continue to buy. I’ve stopped all other purchases. I’ve got quite a bit of the Cabs, including 3 left of this Torre, to follow over the long cycle.


8C724442-66C7-46B9-A42E-ECD201BAFD01.jpeg
You and I know a few things about Ridge Cabernets, esp. the higher end ones. (1) They have beautiful fruit. (2) They age effortlessly forever. (3) They have new American oak that is offputting for a number of years but eventually integrates into the wine. So, when you open them at seven years old (is it now two bottles or three, I have lost count), the oak is really on you and not on the wine. Would you start drinking Latour at seven years old and then blame the wine when it is not ready?
Howard

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Re: TN: 2013 Ridge Torre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

#24 Post by Ed Steinway » May 24th, 2020, 8:56 am

I agree about the oak being prevalent and that these wines need a lot of time. FWIW, I have had the 2013 and 2014 Torre's side-by-side a few times and I prefer the 2014. To me there is much more fruit and balance in the 2014.

Ed

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