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Pine Ridge Onyx 1999

Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WS88
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Long known for our passion for Bordeaux varietals, we have expanded our portfolio to include our first wine blended from the classic and ancient varietals of the Cahors region of France. This release of Onyx is a blend of 54% Malbec, 23% Tannat, and 23% Merlot, all grown in our narrow-spaced, densely planted, hillside vineyards at our Rutherford Ridge Estate. The black wines of Cahors, by tradition and appellation law, can be produced from 70% Malbec, and only 30% Merlot and/or Tannat. It is our intent to follow the principle of this ancient tradition, with Malbec as the predominant varietal. This densely-colored red black wine opens with sweet, silky, round fresh red and black fruits. Among red currants, blackberries and cream, cola, and tobacco, is a hint of briar and raspberry tea. Experience a smooth lingering smoky, blackberry and black pepper finish in this medium bodied wine. Enjoy now or cellar for the next five to ten years.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 88
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Pine Ridge

Pine Ridge

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Pine Ridge, Napa Valley, California
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In 1978 , a remarkable vineyard took shape alongside a deep pine forest that climbs the western hillside of Napa Valley’s storied Stags Leap District. Today, nestled in a small valley along the Silverado Trail, the carefully maintained and terraced slopes of Pine Ridge Vineyards blend gracefully with the natural rise and fall of the land. Year after year, the wines of Pine Ridge carry a sense of this place and its history. Continuity, balance and meticulous craftsmanship are inherent in the wines and deeply embedded in the winery's heritage. Each vintage reflects the distinct characteristics of the appellation and a focused commitment to refinement that reaches across the years, from the founding of the winery to today.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

SWS81484_1999 Item# 50512