LCBO Vintages Release
After several years of working with the coveted grapes grown in Sonoma County’s Ridgeline vineyard, Decoy acquired the renowned property in 2012. The acquisition fulfilled the winery’s long-held dream of establishing an Estate program in the Alexander Valley and Sonoma County. The lush, structured Bordeaux-variety fruit from this storied vineyard is now a central element in Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon.
Located approximately 150 kilometres north of San Francisco, Ridgeline is situated on Oak Mountain high above the Alexander Valley at the north end of the Mayacamas mountain range. This is the finest Sonoma County appellation for growing Bordeaux grapes. The property consists of 44 unique hillside vineyard blocks with diverse soils and elevations (up to nearly 600 metres). Though this spectacular mountain vineyard spans more than 400 acres, only 89 acres are under vine. The rest is preserved in its natural state. It’s a stunning place.
Originally planted in 1999, the site is well-suited to Bordeaux varieties for several reasons. The vineyard benefits from east-west exposure for maximum sunlight. It drains well thanks to steep slopes and a north-south vertical axis, resulting in low yields and concentrated flavours. The soil is rich in loam and threaded with natural mineral springs. While daytime temperatures through the summer are high enough to suit heat-loving red grapes, the rapid cooling effect of evening fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean preserves the fresh, enlivening acidity of the fruit as it ripens.
The 2016 is a rich, appealing expression of Sonoma County Cabernet. Displaying the lushness and balance, it is an inviting wine that features layers of blackberry and black cherry, along with notes of mocha, star anise, and spearmint. On the palate, the juicy, bright fruit flavours are framed by refined tannins that carry the wine through a satisfying finish.
The 2016 is a new release that has yet to be reviewed. The 2015 received the following:
“A satisfying prime-rib wine, this is lean and bright, with simple black-cherry freshness that lasts. The overall impression is tangy and clean, focused on fruit clarity.”
90 points, Wine & Spirits, Dec 2017
“After extolling the virtues of a bevy of $100+ Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s time to return to earth. Ironically, under Duckhorn’s Decoy label, this wine is the real thing. It clearly demonstrates that you needn’t spend triple digits to find satisfying wine with real character. Delivering more than the price suggests, there’s a well-integrated combination of prominent cassis-like fruitiness and subtle savoury components. Mild, smooth tannins allow immediate consumption and juicy acidity in the finish prevents palate fatigue. Perfect for flank steak on the grill this summer.”
90 points, Michael Apstein, July 2017