TN: 1985 Ahlgren Cabernet Sauvgnion, Bates Ranch

A beautiful wine that has aged nicely. The tannins may or may not still be there, tough to call. There is fruit, with leather and some tobacco hints, and some slight vegetal notes.

Bates Ranch? I had one this past New Year’s Eve. Lovely wine, 12.3% abv.


Nice note on the wine. For those who haven’t heard (not sure whether it’s been reported here on the board), Dexter Ahlgren passed away a few weeks ago. He retired and closed down the winery at the end of 2016. One of the great old-school Santa Cruz Mountains producers.
Dexter Ahlgren obituary

I only visited the winery 2-3 times over the years but it was always memorable. Not the easiest place to find (especially before GPS), but Dexter would greet you and lead you into the wine cellar below the rustic house just off of Highway 9 in Boulder Creek that he and his wife Valerie shared for so many years. I recall the wines as being a bit rustic too, but in the best sense - honest, straightforward, not overly polished.

Link to a photo of their place here - not a great photo but the best I could find on the web:
Photo of Ahlgren home / cellar on Kazzit

Thanks for the note Otto. I’ve always enjoyed their wines.

That is really sad news that I hadn’t heard. Thanks for posting the link to his obit. Dex and Val made a great couple and were some of the nicest people I have ever met in the industry. The Bates Ranch cabs and Ventana Vineyard chards were really nice wines (and some what rustic) but one of my favorite wines was their Semillon. Their first vintages came from the St. Charles vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains and later vintages from Livermore. I will have to track down a bottle or two of their wine to toast Dex.

Didn’t know that he passed away. Per CT, I still have one bottle left of the 1993 Ahlgren Bates reserve; will have to find it and toast him.