The 80-hectare Pine Ridge estate was founded in 1978 when Gary Andrus planted the property’s original vineyard in Stags Leap on a terraced hillside flanked by a ridge of pine trees. They now have vineyards across five sub-zones in Napa: four in the Stags Leap District; three in Rutherford; three in Carneros and one each in Howell Mountain and Oakville. This diversity gives winemaker Michael Beaulac many different blending options for his stunning Napa Cabernet. The vineyards are sustainably managed in order to squeeze as much character and sense of place out of the grapes as possible.
The Chenin Blanc/Viognier is made from fruit grown in Clarksburg in the Sacremento river delta. The climate here is warm but there is an almost constant breeze, which helps to retain freshness and acidity in the grapes. This freshness comes through on the nose, which offers citrus fruit and white tea aromas coupled with flavours of lychee and honeydew melon on the palate. The grapes for the Cabernet, which includes a proportion of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc in the blend, are sourced from several premier sites throughout the Napa Valley. Michael Beaulac feels the closely spaced vines and attentive farming of the vineyard blocks contribute to the bright, complex layers of flavour that characterise this wine. 36% of the wine is aged in new American oak for 17 months . This wine boasts a myriad of flavours from red and black berry fruit, cinnamon and sweet spice to hints of espresso coffee and leather on the finish.