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Tiny 246 Case Production
Low 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 vineyard—a philosophy termed Zero Manipulation—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. “My 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 –
a common practice in mass-market wineries.

“This is our most terroir-driven wine—a Peterson wine that shouts out its origins with every sip. Our Bradford Mountain vineyards produce wine grapes with a unique and very recogn
izable 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.” – 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 – 40% new French oak barrels.
Only 246 cases