Mission Codename The Goodie
Great Cabernets cross our palates and pages often these days, dear Operatives, but no winery has ever been as popular and loved by YOU as Young Ridge! THOUSANDS of bottles have found their way to you since our first feature with them only about a year ago. Their library cellar was fairly well-stocked back then; however, we’ve been depleting it like there’s no tomorrow. When a vertical back to 2003 came across our Tasting Panel recently we had the chance and privilege to firsthand taste the consistency of style and quality within these great Cabernets once again, with all the nuances different vintages bring. It was tough to love one over the other, so we chose the oldest to feature with the lowest availability as it will be gone soon. We also are highlighting the never seen at The Wine Spies 2011 vintage below along with a couple of other select library gems that remain our all-time favorites. There aren’t many cases left of those, but why not have at it while we can!
Here are some overall impressions on the vintages we just tasted:
2003 – The silkiest. Most ready to drink. At peak but will comfortably lay for another decade.
2004 – Freakishly youthful next to the 2003. Buy a ton, but be patient, aerate if you can’t be.
2010 – Most complete. What else can one want from a Cab? Sublime precision, drink or hold.
2011 – From a cool harvest so still developing, give it a few years to shed green youthfulness.
THE GOOD NEWS: ALL of these bygone vintages are all available TODAY, below.
THE NOT SO GOOD NEWS: Most we see for the very last time, they will sell out.
Young Ridge did all the aging for us in their cellars, meaning Perfect Provenance, resulting in wines that are as authentic as wine can get. We’re super excited to offer you this fantastic Library Selection with INSANE SAVINGS!
The 2003, our main feature here, still has lots of vivacity left. Just one look at the wine reveals gleaming ruby and garnet hues that are associated with youthful wines - and not the brownish hues that can come with longer maturity. But how does it taste? Just brilliant and oh, so fruit-forward and elegant. Whenever we’re offered an aged library wine, we always agree to at least taste them. Most of the time we reject reds that are older than a couple of decades upon closer evaluation, but occasionally even those impress us. Today’s spry, delicious 15-year-old is one impressive wine - with plenty of life left in it! This perfectly stored wine is actually pretty amazing. This Young Ridge 2003 Premium Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon really drinks like a younger wine.
Given its age, the wine is remarkable in the glass - Garnet at the center, bright ruby at the meniscus - No brown at the edges at all. Absolutely incredible on the nose, with scents only found on a wine that’s been properly aged. Notes include currant, cassis, cedar, anise, straw, sandalwood, and cacao. Wow! Crazy amount of fruit left on this with currant, cherry, and plum compote with ample amounts of tobacco, leather, and cigar box with a touch of cardamom. Just delicious. There’s no shortcut for aging when it comes to honing tannin until it is silky smooth. Young Ridge has done the aging for us here, and we reap the reward with an incredibly soft and complex drinking experience. A properly aged wine is well paired with a properly aged steak – just don’t eat one from 2003.
Winemaker Julianna Beckmann Gosling started her winemaking career as an intern at Robert Mondavi Winery, and after graduating from the University of California at Davis, she worked at both Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards. Today Julianna oversees all aspects of the winemaking process, shepherding the wines through from vineyard to bottle.
What the Winery Says
2003 Premium Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Julianna Beckmann Gosling
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Napa Valley
- Young Ridge Estate Vineyard