Mailing-List Only Cabernet On Par With World’s Best
Hidden Ridge, set amidst Mayacamas mountain terrain so remote and rugged, 48 planted acres of Cabernet Sauvignon can only be accessed via four-wheel-drive trucks and helicopters. The 2013 Hidden Ridge Vineyard 55% Slope Cabernet is “a modern-day classic that could compete with the very finest Cabernet-based wines in the world,” said Robert Parker. While pouring 97+ points on this “simply loaded” Cabernet, Parker added, “This is a remarkable wine and reminiscent of the great classics from the golden era of the Mayacamas on the Napa side (such as the 1968, 1970, 1973 and 1974) come to mind when tasting this beauty.” Despite the remote location, the small production, and the mailing-list-only allocation, we’ve secured another very tiny allotment — first offered back in November, we flew through what we had. It didn’t take a helicopter ride to get more, but next time it might — and our only request is to limit your order to 6 bottles at most. For those who miss out again, I’m truly sorry in advance.
Up a twisting, jagged path, this special plot exists in a land of extremes on the Sonoma County side of Spring Mountain. 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.
If you can swing half a case, do it. It’s truly one of the most breathtaking vineyards I’ve laid eyes on in Northern California. Their 2013 Cabernets are equally astonishing, with the structure and purity to age beautifully for decades. Again I’ll quote Parker, who bequeathed to Hidden Ridge a perfect 100-point score in 2013 and seven 96- to 98-point scores in recent vintages: “These are clearly world-class Cabernets and should be considered by any serious collector for their cellars.”
This is one investment that pays delicious dividends.
Master of Wine Candidate
VP of Wine, Wine Access