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Moniker Mendocino Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
In the late 1990s, the Thornhill family's dream was to bring their far-flung family together in one beautiful place we could call home. After years of searching, the family decided Mendocino County, California was that special place, and in 2002 they moved to La Ribera, a benchland vineyard in the heart of the Ukiah Valley.
La Ribera is a 1.5-mile long property situated on the eastern banks of the Russian River in the southern Ukiah Valley. One hundred and fifty acres are planted in vines, with the original plantings dating to the early 1950s. The river and its abundant riparian zone exert a cooling influence that tempers summer heat and helps retain acidity and freshness in the grapes.
Attention to the needs of each vine results in more concentrated and expressive fruit, and La Ribera’s diversity of soil types allows us to precisely match an array of varietals—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Syrah—with their ideal soil profile. The result is high-quality wines boasting intense varietal character.
Through the wines, winemaker Mark Beaman and the Thornhill family have worked to display the ultimate expression of their devotion to Mendocino County's breathtaking beauty, rich wine culture and friendly, hard-working people. They represent the best of their family and the singular appeal of one of the world's finest and most distinctive winegrowing regions.
A large and diverse appellation within California’s North Coast AVA, Mendocino is home to several smaller sub-regions—most notably the Anderson Valley. This scenic region, with rolling hills covered in redwood forests as well as vineyards, is one of the world’s top producers of certified organically-grown grapes. Due to wide geographical and climatic variation, a vast array of wine styles can be found here.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) 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 is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile 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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.