Sweet and Earthy Layers Hidden Ridge Vineyard 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon California
Sheltered by the high peaks of the Mayacamas mountain range, Hidden Ridge Vineyard is truly the secret oasis that its name implies. Only about a third of the wine estate's 160 acres are planted with vines; the rest are left to the local wildlife and native flora. But the portion of the land covered by vineyards produces what is recognized as world-class, boutique Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery's proprietors, Casidy Ward and Lynn Hofacket, choose to focus on this single varietal, because they feel it is not only a grape well-suited to the Hidden Ridge terroir, but one that never goes out of style. A rich and full-flavored Cab, the 2006 offers layers of sweet fruit mingled with earthy brambles and tobacco. On the nose, faint bacon smokiness and a hint of mint add complexity. In the mouth, the wine's blackberry and black currant flavors dominate up front, with those earthy notes coming into play at the back of the palate along with a touch of cocoa and espresso. With its fine-grain tannins and bright acidity, the Cabernet is a lovely red to drink on its own. But it will also pair well with a cold plate of salamis and hard cheeses, chicken in a chocolaty mole sauce or a simple grilled steak. With its dessert-like notes, the wine would also be a nice choice for a flourless chocolate cake with a side of summer berries.