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Tiny 246 Case
Yields, Insane Quality
Great Cabernet With A
Sense Of Place and Balance
Some of the greatest wines I have ever
tasted are older vintages of Ridge Lytton Springs and Ridge Geyserville.
Winemaker and owner Paul Draper has made some of the finest old vine single
vineyard blends ever in California. What many people do not know is that a huge
part of his success was Fred Peterson who managed these great vineyards for
Paul and provided the key ingredients the grapes that go into these great
wines. Today Fred still manages great vineyards in and around Lytton Springs in
Sonoma plus he has started his own label with his son Jamie making the wines. I
fell in love with their 2010 Peterson Cabernet and I was lucky enough to pick up a small
allocation to offer. This is a Cabernet of great depth, great concentration,
classic Dry Creek and a wine that has great balance. They have let the vineyard
do the talking, not trying to over extract flavor or over manipulate. The
results are spectacular, killer Cabernet at the price. Insider-wine you normally
only get at the winery.
Owner Fred Peterson is an iconoclast with
an old-world winemaking philosophy and a reverence for sustainable
farming. The Peterson approach is to capture the essence of vintage and
vineyardâ€”a philosophy termed Zero Manipulationâ€”with low
technologies to produce wines of a place with soul. The evolution of Peterson
wines and winemaking accelerated when Fred's son Jamie became assistant
winemaker in the summer of 2002. In 2006, after moving from the tiny red barn on
Lytton Springs to Timber Crest Farms, Jamie was given the overall
responsibilities as winemaker. As a team, Fred and Jamie assess the grapes from
each vineyard and vintage as the season progresses, evaluating how the weather,
soil and site are interacting for the particular vintage. â€śMy winemaking
philosophy follows that of my father- great wine is about place, (and
time/vintage), and not about how much the winemaker can change a
wine to suit a certain style. I continue a low tech/high touch approach
here, with the only major changes from the methods of my father being
sanitation practices (use of steam cleaning for water conservation,
etc.) and an adoption of a "gravity-flow" handling of the fruit.
At Peterson winery, the winemaking process begins while the grapes are still on
the vines. As mentioned, Zero Manipulation (using the most gentle,
traditional winemaking practices possible to maximize the flavors, aromatics
and texture of the wines) is a discipline used by the Petersons. So
naturally, Fred and Jamie celebrate vintage differences without tweaking or
homogenizing the wine to obtain consistent flavors â€“ a common practice in
â€śThis is our most terroir-driven wineâ€”a Peterson wine that shouts
out its origins with every sip. Our Bradford Mountain vineyards produce wine
grapes with a unique and very recognizable minerality, and that expression of
place reaches its apex in the Bradford Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
The intensity of the Cabernet Sauvignon is complemented with exotic spice from
Cabernet Franc, wonderful aromatics from Petit Verdot, and plush fruit
qualities from Merlot and Malbec to create a wine that offers layer upon layer
of flavors and aromas. Though big and bold, this is still a wine with balance
and finesse. It is not one of those over-oaked and over-extracted creations
that are currently the rage with some wine critics yet have no place on the
table, nor the potential for successful bottle-aging. This is a wine that will
definitely benefit from both bottle age and/or decanting to allow the wine to
open and reveal all of its depth and complexity.â€ť â€“ Jamie Peterson.
The Bradford Mountain vineyards produce wine grapes with a unique and very
recognizable minerality, and that expression of place reaches its apex in the
Bradford Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Luscious blackberry and currant
flavors layer over spicy cedar and a gentle core of minerality. Though big and
bold, this is still a wine with balance and finesse, not an over-oaked and
over-extracted monster, and will continue to develop for many years.
Technical Data: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon; 6% Cabernet Franc; 4% Petit
Verdot; 1% Merlot and 1% Malbec.
Barrel Aging: 21 months â€“ 40% new French oak barrels.
Production: Only 246 cases