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Pine Ridge

Napa Valley, California

Background

This 80 hectare estate was founded in 1978 when Gary Andrus planted the property’s original vineyard in Stags Leap on a terraced hillside flanked by a ridge of pine trees. They now have vineyards across five sub-zones in Napa: four in the Stags Leap District, three in Rutherford, three in Carneros and one each in Howell Mountain and Oakville. 

This diversity gives winemaker Michael Beaulac many different blending options for his stunning Napa Cabernet. The vineyards are sustainably managed in order to squeeze as much character and sense of place out of the grapes as possible. The  2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet. "The fruit for this vintage was chosen from several premier sites throughout the Napa Valley. Closely spaced vines and attentive farming of the vineyard blocks contributed to the bright, complex layers of flavour that characterise this wine," says Beaulac.

The 2009 Dijon Clones Chardonnay is made from fruit grown on estate vineyards in Carneros.  Closely planted vineyards help reduce vigour, as does the choice of rootstock. Both factors ensure an intensity of fruit, an intensity that is magnified by the long growing season that results from the overcast mornings and cool afternoon breezes that characterise Carneros. The wine, rich yet perfumed, was fermented and aged in barrique for nine months. 

The Chenin Blanc/Viognier, a blend of 79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier, is from bought in fruit. The Chenin comes from Clarksburg, on the Sacramento River. The warm climate ensures ripe Chenin Blanc, while the constant breeze ensures its perfumes are retained. Fermentation was cool at about 13ºC.  The malolactic was blocked so as to enhance the freshness and no oak was used so that this freshness would shine in the glass.