Situated 2,300 feet atop Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Ridge Vineyards is one of California's greatest wine estates with a fascinating history going back to the late 1800s. They first made their mark on the wine world in 1976 when their 1971 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon blend came in fifth at the Judgement of Paris, an international tasting competition where wines from California shocked the French by placing among the world's best. Ridge's Monte Bello bottlings continue to stun and award those who are lucky enough to procure them and have the patience to age them until they are ready to consume. Thankfully, their Estate Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings are a little (but not much) easier to get and can be ready to consume long before Monte Bello (though they still absolutely benefit from aging.) This 2014 is another stunner and is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc that was aged for 19 months in 70% new and 30% 2-3 year old air-dried American oak barrels. Winemaker, Eric Baugher describes it as having "aromas of blackcurrant, cherries, clove spice, toasted oak and cocoa. It has a ripe bramble fruit entry, medium-full body, supple tannins and sweet oak; firm acid persist in a long finish."