Yes, everyone knows about Napa, but when you're looking for great quality for price, Alexander Valley is the ticket. Since the 1950s, Sonoma County's Alexander Valley has produced world-class Cabernet for the likes of Silver Oak and many others. Thanks to its gravelly soils, and warmer temperatures, this terroir ripens Cabernet like no other place and is a wonderful example from this region.
The 2014 Owl Ridge Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet in color. offers an enticing nose of red currant, cinnamon and blackberry. with rich cacao flavors alongside pronounced layers of dark berries, spice, coffee and hints of molasses on the palate. The intriguing finish offers mocha-laced berries, leather, with gentle and satisfying toasty oak. This Cabernet is drinking great now and will age gracefully for another 5-8 years.
Pair with chicken pasta Alfredo, baked ziti and Stilton cheese.
Appellation: Alexander Valley, Sonoma County
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: French Oak Barrels
Bottle Size: 750 ml
From the vineyard to the glass, winemaker Joe Otos' meticulous craftsmanship is present. Working in some of California's most prestigious winemaking regions provides unique opportunities to produce wines of stunning character – but it doesn't come easily.
Walking the vineyards throughout the year, Joe checks on the grapes' progress and oversees their development, paying attention to such details as the vineyard's watering schedule, the pruning of the vines and the timing of fertilizer additions. "Spending time in the vineyard, chatting with the vineyard managers and getting to know the soils are key parts of getting the best out of each site," Joe says. "You can only maximize the potential of the grapes if you have been a part of how they were farmed."
As soon as Joe determines they are optimally ripe, the grapes for Owl Ridge wines are hand-picked pre-dawn to ensure they arrive at the winery in the best possible condition. They are then manually sorted and carefully fermented in small batches. Joe refuses to inoculate his grapes with commercial wine yeast. "The only way to achieve true depth and complexity in a wine," he notes, "is to allow fermentations to start naturally with yeasts native to the area and winery. To me, this is a part of what people call terroir and it helps bring out the innate character of each variety."
After overseeing the pressing of the fermented grapes Joe ages his wines in premium French oak barrels, carefully selected for each particular wine. After at least fifteen months, during which Joe will periodically taste and monitor (while leaving the wines as undisturbed as possible) the finest barrels will be blended and bottled, each bottling to be released only when showing its best. "Wine needs time in bottle before it is going to drink well," attests Joe. "It will be at least two years from harvest to release – absolutely no cutting corners."
Owl Ridge wines are the product of taking it slow – and paying attention to the details. Reviewers, critics and Joe's avid wine fans agree that each vintage is well worth the wait.
Learn more at www.owlridge.com.