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Pine Ridge wines

Have heard good things, but never tried. I love the big bold ones. How are these??

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  1. not being critical becuase ehy are good wines but i greatly prefer paradigm and others. IMHO pine ridge's popularity supports it being overpriced. are you looking to buy the howell mtn, oakville, stags leap or "onyx"?

    1. Would you like to be more specific? Are you talking about their Cabernet (and if so, which one)? Their Bordeaux blends (and if so, which one)? Merlot? Cab Franc? Chenin Blanc-Viognier blend???

      They make very good-to-excellent wines, but I'm not sure I would ever describe them as "bold," if you mean by that a wine that is "in-your-face" and "over-the-top."


      1 Reply
      1. re: zin1953

        Good question. I really like the SLD, but all in my cellar are from the old Gary Andrus days, so I cannot comment on the current releases. I have not tried the Howell Mtn. bottlings, but love most from that sub-appelation (that I have tried), so big and bold is one my board.


      2. over rated

        what price point are you looking for? are you looking for big bold cab? if so...look something else. i would not say pine ridge is huge wine

        1. I would tend to agree with Ricky on this.

          They aren't *bad* wines. Just not particularly interesting. It sounds like you are talking about reds? If so, they run from the low 30's to $80+. You can do a lot better from some other producers in those price ranges.

          1. As a former PR club member, I have a variety of bottles and have tried almost everything they release.

            As far as "bold", that's not their MO; their winemaker tries to keep in the tradition of Bordeaux style wines with a new world/Cali edge. Yes, this style is becoming trite and few wineries pull it off consistently.

            I thought their late 90s early 2000s releases were excellent; the best being the various cabernets from different appelations. If you want "bold", try their Howell Mountain.

            But, I do agree with the other posts that for the price point, there are better options and that plus the recent average releases persuaded me to cancel my club membership and future purchases.

            1. I had what I thought was an odd experience two weeks ago at what is considered an upscale restaurant in a small N Cal. town. I ordered a Pine Ridge "Rutherford", which was $10 less than the price on the winery's website. I asked if it was a mistake and the server confirmed that it was the correct price. It really went well with our dinner and it sure wasn't overpriced that night.

              9 Replies
              1. re: BN1

                if you want bold, big calif cab...you might want to try:

                these are big calif style cab with nice balance imo
                neal family @ $45+/-
                lewelling family @ $50+/-
                pride mt cab @ $65+/-
                switchback ridge cab @ $75+/-
                lewis cab

                these are just plain huge (fruit bomb) which i enjoy once in a while:

                linne calodo (not cab...mostly syrah or zin base) @ $35-$50
                b & h cab @ $45-$65

                top tier calif wine @ $100+ (you may have to look hard for these but they are around)

                merus cab
                quilceda creek (washington)

                1. re: rickym13

                  Wow. You would really have to love California Cabs at those prices. I think California has gone beserk with their pricing.

                  1. re: BN1

                    you don't always have to spend 50/75/100+. for CA cabs, look around for Havens, Dehlinger, Melka, Paradigm, Conn Creek...there are plenty of others. Ken Wright has a new label called "Tyrus Evans", if you can find it, try his "claret", low 20's and very nice.

                    1. re: BN1

                      yeah...your right..price of calif wine has gone up but nothing compare to some of the bordx or burgandy.
                      there are bunch of sub $30 calif cab that is big and bold such as these to name a few:

                      sequoia grove @ $27
                      buehler cab @ $21
                      chappellet cab @ $22
                      cliff lede cab @ $26

                      also, if you like huge fruit bomb..you might want to try some australian wine like marquis philips @ $12+/-
                      laughing magpie @ $19
                      mitolo jester cab @ $16

                      1. re: rickym13

                        I couldn't agree more on the Sequoia Grove and the Chappellet.

                        I felt that the '02 Sequoia Grove Cab was the qpr Napa Cab of the vintage.

                        And Chappellet has just been firing on all cylanders recently. At every price point it is in -- the Mountain Cuvee @ $25, the Signature @ $40, the PHEV @ $110 -- Chappellet is representing among the best Napa Cab/blends have to offer at those prices. And you don't even need to be on a mailing list!!!

                        1. re: rickym13

                          the Chappellet is a great bargain. had buehler years ago and then felt it dropped off a bit, perhaps I should revisit. marquis philips - made a great buy on their "S2" cab about a year ago, got a case for about $13/btl

                          1. re: rickym13

                            Where do you find Cliff Lede Cab @ $26????? They make a Claret, I think, atthat proce level, but I've never seen their cab below $45.

                            1. re: Midlife

                              opps...my bad. i meant to write cliff lede claret

                          2. re: BN1

                            Some could make a case for that. Interesting that while president of the Napa Vally Vintner's Association (might not be the 100% correct moniker), Nancy Andrus, along with Dan Duckhorn did their best to keep prices in line with the quality of the wines. Others, Kerner Rombauer, for instance, felt that the charge should be, "what the market will bear." This was, however, at the time of the Dot-Com boom, with Silicon Valley folk flying up to Napa in their Citations to have $10,000 lunches at The French Laundry.

                            There is a fine line, along a slippery slope, when it comes to wine prices in those rare plots on Earth, that certain grapes excell. One only has to look to Bdx., and Burgundy to see this in practice. Spots of Napa are not that different, except for the time span, that they have been cultivated. A winemaker has to figure in the cost/worth of their land, the cost of production (labor and equipment), the cost of marketing, the cost of ruined wine from various causes (see http://www.chowhound.com/topics/399356) for a current on-going discussion of one of the problems, and profit, so they can do it all over next year. While I do not enjoy paying high prices for my wine, being a drinker, and not a collector, I will state that many of these wines are worth the $, to me. Some, though, are just clinging to the coat tails of a few, with little to differentiate their wines from the much more affordable offerings. These are the producers, with whom I have a problem.

                            Now, back to the OPs observations/questions on Pine Ridge: I am not familiar with their latest offerings. Were there not so many changes in that winery, I'd venture that they are as good as they have always been - blanket statement, yes, but they had a track record and very good direction and dedication from the top. I do not know how it might have changed. I will gather a few of the newer releases, and try them besides some of the old PR standbys, just to see. Yeah, the old-guys will benefit from some time in the bottle, but it should be easy to compare. It would be wrong for me to endorse the new stuff, with only history, and no TNs to back it up.


                      2. In years gone by, Gary Andrus was a very good wine maker. He left (the winery and his wife) for the Southern Hemisphere, and I have not heard of him since. His wife, Nancy, carried the weight for some time, and produced very good wines. It seems that she has sold Pine Ridge, but I do not recall to whom. The property is great, just off the Silvarado Trail at the Oakville Cut in Napa. I have not had one of their major wines in the last few years, and all in my cellar were under the direction of Gary. Therefore, I cannot comment on what they might be like today.


                        12 Replies
                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Agree with Hunt, although I'm not as familiar with the winemaking geneaology in the area. Stags Leap was the standard for cab and petite syrah in the southern Silverado Trail area, and Pine Ridge also produced excellent cabernets, at least through the late 1990s. I haven't had enough of them since then to judge. I've explored other varietals, other regions of the globe, and spent less per bottle rather than keep up with my beloved reds from Stags Leap, Carneros, and the Rutherford bench (weep).

                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            He is making wine again in Oregon. I was in a wineshop last week, and they had some. I just can't remeber the name of it.

                            1. re: chickstein

                              Thanks for the update. I guess that the NZ deal did not pan out. Gary is a great winemaker, and I wish hiim well. I'll do my best to track down his latest product and try some. BTW, do you know what Nancy is doing now? My guess is that she's more involved in the Napa Vally organization, more than any winemaking ventures, but have not seen her, nor read of what she's doing.


                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                Gypsy Dancer is Gary's new label.

                                And here is what Nancy has been up to:

                                1. re: chickstein

                                  Thanks! Now that you mention it, seems that I did see something in the wine press about that label.

                                  I always appreciate a refresher,

                                  1. re: chickstein

                                    I'm quite familiar with Gypsy Dancer but didn't know Gary Andrus' history. This must have been some time ago because he's apparently married again and with two kids. It's interesting that his bio(www.gypsydancerestates.com) mentions two former wineries but doesn't name them. I've tried at least two of his Gypsy Dancer Pinots and they were both very good Wilamette Valley-style wines from his own vineyards there.

                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                Stacy Clark has been making wine at Pine Ridge for over 20 years. Though Gary Andrus was the name behind them, she was the one reponsible for most of the best vintages of the 90's... still is. Though corporate ownership has had an impact on the winery, the cabernets, at least, have not been diminished.

                                1. re: ChefNet

                                  They make a Dijon Clones Chardonnay that's very good..... at least I think so.

                                  1. re: ChefNet

                                    Interesting, Gary was named as the winemaker on several of the Cabs. I guess that that was just marketing license. Nancy also was supposed to have a hand in a few, as well. Interesting. Thanks for the update/correction.

                                    Can you furnish your detailed thoughts on the changes, since the buy-out? I'd be very interested.


                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                      Sorry to take so long with a reply... The most obvious outward change since the buy-out has been to the retail/hospitality facility. Instead of the casual, boisterous, friendly atmosphere of the past, the hospitality area has gone the way of the chic, ultra-premium wineries (a very Napa thing, IMO)... instead of picnics and swings, you are stopped at the door by a concierge desk, the retail area is no longer bright with art, posters, and gift items (not a huge loss on the last part)... it's more subtle... and tastings are much more expensive, less comfortable and a bit less friendly. This is a noticable departure from the Andrus' convivial style.

                                      The low-end wines seem to be phasing out with less of the PRW style showing through (ie. the chenin blanc-viognier - do they still make it? Can't seem to find it here in NYC).

                                      Quality on the upper end seems to be steady, if not improving. I'll miss the old Howell Mountains... and the old prices! I've always been a big PRW fan, and probably always will be.

                                      1. re: ChefNet

                                        They still make the chenin blanc-viognier and stores in CA carry it as well as you can purchase it on the PR website. Good stuff for summer.

                                        1. re: ChefNet

                                          Just saw it on the wine list at the Arizona Kitchen, Wigwam Resort, Litchfield Park (West Phoenix), AZ, so I strongly feel that it is available. It could be some hold-over, but I kinda' dobut it. It was readily available at retail at my nearby "specialty" grocery (nice, albeit ~US$5+ / btl. premium), but I have not seen it for some time. Maybe it did not sell? I always liked it for a welcome wine and felt that it was a really nice Spring/Summer wine. I'll ask the cellar-master there what the deal is with the Chenin-Viognier and report back.

                                          Thanks for the update. We have a few trips to Sacramento coming up, and I usually split the days between Amador/Sierra Foothills and Napa, so I may get over and will check it out.


                                  2. I really enjoy the Pine Ridge wines and am a member of their wine club. With their wine club you may opt in or out before they ship the wine so you don't have get every shipment I believe the commitment is 2 shipments then you may cancel at anytime. They are usually around no more than $100 per shipment with around 2-3 bottles per shipment. I always think it is a ton of fun to have a package arrive and it's wine even if I know it's coming!

                                    1. I have always thought that Pine Ridge produces a quality product.

                                      However, Stag's Leap wines (IMHO) make a softer style of wines than their counterparts in Oakville or Rutherford. If you are looking for BOLD, you should try one from that AVA.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: chickstein

                                        For big n' bold, I think that one would be well-served to sample the Cabs (or the Merlots, for that matter) from Sullivan, Napa, Rutherford. It doesn't get much bigger than those. I, however, keep these "big boys" in the cellar for at least 10years, so as to not damage my teeth!