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Forefront by Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Blend: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Syrah, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot
A FOCUS ON QUALITY. Long before Napa Valley became known as the one of the world’s most remarkable winegrowing regions, the Andrus family understood its potential. They founded Pine Ridge winery in the now-famous Stags Leap District. Experimenting with clones, rootstocks and winemaking techniques, they paid meticulous attention to every detail, from vineyard to bottle, and embraced innovation in the pursuit of ever higher quality.
NO BOUNDARIES. After developing Pine Ridge, the Andrus family began to explore other emerging wine regions, from the Pacific Northwest to New Zealand. In Oregon, their Burgundian philosophies brought wine quality to a new level. They adopted the grand cru model, with its emphasis on terroir, and cultivated numerous French clones that they matched to the region’s growing conditions. To provide ideal aging temperatures, they drilled the state’s first underground wine caves. Their forward thinking helped to establish Oregon as one of the world’s premier Pinot Noir producers.
The passion, commitment and adventurous spirit of the Andrus family is well known within the wine industry. With ForeFront, we honor their vision and their contributions with wines that challenge the traditional.
Encompassing the grape-growing regions located north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano. Napa and Sonoma get all of the attention, but there are a few other counties producing great wine in Northern California. Two notable examples are Mendocino and Lake County, the northernmost winegrowing regions in the state. These AVAs are very different, both from their neighbors to the south and from one another.
Mendocino benefits from the cooling fog of the Pacific Ocean and is able to successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. There is a significant focus here on organic viticulture. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc are the dominant varieties. Both regions are excellent sources of high-quality but affordable California wines in a wide range of styles.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.