Sometimes the best place to drink the best wine is as far from the vineyards as possible. Last weekend I lugged this 375 ml bottle of 2010 Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blend up to Conundrum Hot Springs near Aspen, Colorado. Nicki and I bought this bottle many years ago at Ridge's winery in the Dry Creek Valley and it has weathered several cross-country trips via car and plane and has laid in the closets of one too many apartments. I was worried that it might have succumbed to my haphazard storage over the years, but... it was everything I wanted to it to be. Absolutely delicious at 11,000 ft.
This was a beautiful wine, classically structured with high acidity like most Bordeaux blends used to be. 2010 was a difficult year and was very cool at Monte Bello, Ridge's famous estate vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and this wine shows it. Napa devotees probably won't care for it but it had everything I want in a Cab-dominant red blend: complexity, good integration, freshness, and length.
Incredibly alluring nose that popped out of the camping mug. Bright pop of purle fruit with black cherry and well-integrated oak/woodiness. Palate mimicked the nose and was super fresh. Hefty minerality and an intriguing salinity that carried through to a long finish. This is one of the best Cabernet Sauvignons I've had in the last year. I wish we would have bought more.
At only 13% alcohol, this will likely continue to improve over the next 5-10 years, if not longer. If you can get your hands on one of these, don't miss the opportunity!