Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cellarmistress Is In Love...With Pine Ridge Vineyards!

It's almost February and Valentine's Day is almost here. Cellarmistress is in LOVE!

But not with a man...This year it's a wine. And a winery! Pine Ridge Vineyards. When a winery comes along and makes an indelible impression on me, I am ready to shout about it off the roof tops!

Back in December, I participated in the first TasteLive event sponsored by Crimson Wine Group, a company who owns several wineries in California and Oregon. The event took place live on Twitter and with a live UStream feed in the caves at Pine Ridge Vineyards. Pine Ridge Vineyards is located in an area of Napa Valley called The Stags Leap District. It is a beautiful area, on the Silverado Trail, studded by pine trees and gorgeous vineyards. It is also notorious for producing some of the best known Cabernets. All of the Napa Valley AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) would argue they make the best Cabernets, however, I find the ones coming out of this area to be powerful but elegant examples. When I first took on this project, I had no idea what I was in for! Now, I can't wait to visit them in February and taste more of their remarkable wines!

Under the expert care of winemaker, Michael Beaulac (whose illustrious career has taken him to many great wineries such as Murphy Goode, Markham Vineyards and St. Supery) and his assistant winemaker, Jason Ledbetter, this winery can do no wrong in my book! The wines are beautiful and there are so many. What I tasted that evening was just the tip of the iceberg. I have a feeling I could spend several days there and still not fully grasp its potential! The winery itself has been around since 1978. Their vineyards span the entire Napa Valley-- 200 acres of vineyards in Stags Leap, Rutherford, Carneros, Oakville and Howell Mountain. Growing grapes in all these AVAs guarantees a wide range of wines all with different flavor profiles and nuances. This allows the winemakers to be like artists and paint a different picture with each wine they create! What a fortunate thing!

In order to participate in this event, the Crimson Wine Group sent me a box of four of their wines, two whites and two reds. As we sipped through the wines, Michael and Jason would discuss them and interact with our team of bloggers and they seemed to really enjoy this. They were very personable and made the experience easy for us.

2010 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier---This wine should be a staple in everyone's home. It is an easy-drinking, value driven, more bang for your buck kind of white. You can sip it on the patio in the summer, have a party with your girlfriends, serve it with a simple seafood or chicken meal. Floral, citrus, WOW! For $14. Distributed nationwide, easy to find. Go get some!

2009 Pine Ridge Vineyards Carneros Dijon Clones Chardonnay--Oh yeah! If ever there was a Chardonnay that took every possible flavor that makes Chardonnay so wonderful, this would be it! Creamy, juicy with bright green apple, lemon and just a hint of nuttiness on the finish. Not huge like some of the Carneros Chardonnays, just nice. $34.

2008 Pine Ridge Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon---This wine is the reason why I am in love! From the first amazing sip, I was overwhelmed! As Michael and Jason spoke of this wine, I couldn't pay attention. I remember tweeting, "Pardon me, but I missed everything you just said. I'm too busy drowning in this wonderful wine!" I was speechless! This wine is unbelievable! The cherries and the chocolate and this nutty aroma. It had an incredible nose! I was a goner and still am! Oh! Oh! Oh! I can't wait to get more of this!! $54.

2007 Pine Ridge Vineyards Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon--This was my second experience with this wine, having tasted it once before for a live event I did in November for the Napa Valley Film Festival. This is a very age-worthy wine with a huge backbone, lots of complex, dark flavors (coffee and cassis come to mind), and is a winery-only exclusive. Typical expression of Stags Leap AVA Cabernet and great for collectors who want to cellar several to try over the years. $80.

Pine Ridge Vineyards is open to the general public daily 10:30-4:30 and is located at 5901 Silverado Trail. They have a wide variety of tasting and touring options. I encourage you to visit this beautiful winery and savor some of these beauties for yourselves. For more information, please visit their website,

I would like to thank the team at Crimson Wine Group and winemakers, Michael Beaulac and Jason Ledbetter, for sharing such great wines with me! I'll be attending the Stags Leap District Bar & Lounge event at Pine Ridge for Premiere Napa! Can't wait to meet you! See you then!

"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for "Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.


  1. Great post! I have experienced Pine Ridge wines @ their winery in Napa when I lived there - I sooooo know the feeling you describe (very well I might add) about the attachment to their wines. FAB Stuff! Thnx for sharing your experience!
    D Vine Wine Time

  2. Grace,
    Thanks for the great reviews! Jason and I had fun doing the tasting but it's not as easy as it looks! I was in Des MOnies last Tuesday night doing a dinner I wish I had seen this then. Thanks again