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 2017 is deep in colour with enticing layers of boysenberry, blackberry, plum and star anise. On the palate, the lush fruit flavours are framed by rich tannins and hints of dark chocolate and barrel spice. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Merlot, 3% Zinfandel, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Petite Sirah – it’s a great showcase of Sonoma County Cab.