There is no doubt that when it comes to high-end red wine in California, Cabernet is king. Part of this is probably due the fact that Cabernet does well with warm weather, and can grow in a variety of different soils and climates. While Napa has good Cabernet vineyards all over, in Sonoma Cab is mostly found in Sonoma Valley, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valley. Each of these regions brings something unique to the table, Dry Creek Cabs really shine when the vines are planted on the hills above the valley. Today’s offering from Owl Ridge fits the bill, from the Passalacqua Vineyard planted 400 feet above the valley floor.
The 2006 Owl Ridge Passalacqua Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is garnet in color, showing just a hint of its 7 years of age at the rim. The nose is pure Cabernet, with tobacco and leather taking the lead, along with cassis, plum and cedar. The palate shows more youth than the nose, with black berry, cigar box, damp earth, and a spicy finish. Medium bodied with moderate acidity, this is a well-balanced Cab that will pair with a wider range of food than Cabernet made in a bigger, riper style. It’s drinking beautifully now and should be consumed over the next year or two. At a price that is basically unheard of well-made, hand-crafted Cabernet in California, this is one to stock up on for near-term enjoyment.
Winemaker: Joseph C. Otos
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, T.R. Passalacqua Vineyard
Barrel Aging: 100% French Oak, 35% new.
AVA: Dry Creek Valley
Owl Ridge Wines began to take advantage of the high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay grown in Sonoma County. Winemaker Joe Otos uses 100% French oak and winemaking techniques that preserve the intensity of the fruit flavors. The resulting wines are big, but balanced wines.
They have now reached the point where their wines have begun to achieve the recognition they deserve. Owl Ridge Wines was voted "Best New Winery" at the 2006 Wine Literary Awards Tasting. This is a significant honor because more than 80 wine writers voted in a secret ballot at a tasting that had 1000 wines.
Owl Ridge has won more than 18 gold medals in the last year at major competitions. This includes two "Best of Class" awards.
Learn more at www.owlridge.com.