Pine Ridge is a winery that I’ve visited many times and tasted many more. The proprietors were kind enough to send their latest round of releases for our commentary. Thoughts follow.
2010 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc+Viognier California - 79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier, it turns out to be a fantastic combo. Peach and light honey notes via the Viognier are immediately present, balanced by racy acidity from the Chenin Blanc. Very easy drinking, and wonderful balance. I would never think to order a Chenin Blanc from a wine list, but this is a crazy value. A / $14
2009 Pine Ridge Dijon Clones Chardonnay Carneros / Napa Valley - A straight up California Chardonnay, light on the oak and butter, but rich and full bodied. Some grapefruit character and pineapples play with the pear-infused body, but the finish runs back a bit toward the woody, and lightly astringent, side. B / $25
2008 Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – The jamminess punches you from the first whiff, and a sip crams sweet maraschino cherry character down your gullet. The finish, all burnt cocoa and coffee grounds, just keeps that power — not entirely friendly — going. B- / $40
2008 Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District - A bit more balance here, with a tartness that mutes the sweetness of the wine, still present in spades. The cherries turn black and that burnt character is minimized here. Definitely drinkable, but lacking in nuance in the way that so many overdone Napa Cabs can be. B+ / $65