If you like a leaner style of Cab, mostly red fruits with perhaps a little green in it, then the 2011 Ridge will appeal to you. Nose is a bit muted at this young age, showing an interesting hint of menthol, graphite and some charcoal, but I am very pleased with the medium-weight palate, crisp red fruits, ashiness and chalkiness to the tannins. Clearly the product of a cool climate site in a cooler year. Even the 14% merlot content is showing less ripe, less plummy than one might otherwise expect. Less pronounced American oak than the 2004 Monte Bello I had this past Thursday, suggesting far less new oak used on this bottling. This is a bottling where Ridge did very well with the oak (meaning, more in the background). A kiss of toasty cedar, but not the omnipresence of dill that is the imprimatur of this great winery.
Solid 90 pts. Would buy this wine all day long at $25. Less interested at the $45.99 I paid for this bottle. No regrets, just saying it has exceeded the QPR for me. One could ask, “Robert, where else can you get a California Cab varietal of this quality for $45,” and it indeed it would be a fair question. My answer, quite simply, would be Bordeaux and Chinon. I am expecting big things from the 2012 and 2013 given the buzz, and perhaps then I will buy up like I did in 2009.
Up next, the 2012 Ridge Geyserville.
PS. Just noticed I used the word “less” quite a bit in this write-up. That’s a good thing. Mies van der Rohe would approve.
Listen you freaking Francophile - that was a 2011 Ridge! 2011!!!
Show the wine the same consideration you would for your beloved Bordeaux or Chinon (Chinon - really?) and give them a little age. And do not, DO NOT pop a '12 Geyserville. What the hell’s the matter with you?
I agree about the pricing. A very nice wine, but at $45 its got a lot of competition for my wine dollars. Bought some of the 2005 at $20 a few years ago. Same shop had that and Lail Blueprint for $25, so I mixed a case. Different wines but remember liking them both for what they were. Went back thinking the actual prices were around that abut when I saw that regular pricing was $40 I passed. I did like the wine quite a bit though and felt it would improve with age.
I had the 2010 tonight. I decanted an hour and a half ahead and had it with shell steak with shitake and crimini mushrooms.
It’s a nice wine. Definitely not overripe. Very restrained, but good fruit. Cool climate (and cool vintage) cabernet flavors. A slight trace of greenness at the back (the underripeness type; not bell pepper), but not at an objectionable level. I’d guess that will fade into the background with a few more years as things soften up. In overall character and structure, it reminded me a bit of the Corison regular bottlings. I’m going to buy a couple of bottles to stash away for a few years. With the decant, and drunk over the course of the meal, this was very approachable but should evolve some. ~88/90 for me.