The apogee of Sonoma mountain Cabernet, this collector’s item bottle was #32 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list in 2014—yet another impressive notch in the belt for 100-point winemaker Tim Milos. The magazine succinctly summed up the virtues of the epic release, writing: “This red shows the density, structure and power of a mountain-grown Napa Cabernet, but hails from Sonoma and costs considerably less than its Napa counterparts.” Sourced from fruit cultivated in rugged mountain conditions at 1,700 feet in elevation, high-altitude lift and acidity counterbalance brooding power and richness. Robert Parker didn’t mince words, declaring: “this stunning 2009 is one of the finest Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignons ever produced.” With nine years of aging, it’s only improved, drinking at its prime now. California collectors won’t hesitate.
Hidden Ridge is set amidst Mayacamas mountain terrain so remote and rugged, 48 planted acres of Cabernet Sauvignon on the Sonoma side can only be accessed via 4-wheel-drive trucks and helicopters. Up a twisting, jagged path, this special plot exists in a land of extremes on the Sonoma County side of Spring Mountain. At 1,700 feet above sea level, Cabernet vines search deep into the sandy loam and volcanic basalt that make up slopes, which are indeed slanted at a 55% degree angle—steep enough to make you look over your shoulder at the abyss below and double-check that your boots are flat on the ground. The vineyards are by necessity tended only by hand.
Since the site is located above the fog line, sprawl terracing ensures that a mix of shade, mountaintop sunshine, and stiff breezes endow the grapes with their powerful tannic structure and firm acids.
This is truly one of the most breathtaking vineyards we’ve laid eyes on in Northern California, and the wines are a direct translation. Again we quote Parker, who bequeathed to Hidden Ridge twelve scores between 94-100 points in recent vintages: “These are clearly world-class Cabernets and should be considered by any serious collector for their cellars.”