Russian Ridge Winery is family owned producing less than 1,000 cases of wine annually. They are located at 919 Washington St. San Carlos. Not your typical urban winery. Their fruit comes from single vineyards around northern California from areas like Paso Robles, Santa Cruz Mountains and even portions of southern Santa Clara County. Most of their wines are done in small lots from 40 to 200 cases. Scott Townsend owner and winemaker, embraces a California winemaker Shawna’s saying “that grapes care where they are grown, not where they are fermented into wine”. Scott made this 2015 wine and today his son Spencer is the winemaker.
The 2015 Russian Ridge Concerto Blend
This wine is from the Santa Cruz Mountains and a blend of 53% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 7% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot came out of Therese Vineyards and Cabernet Franc out of Copper Garrod and the Petit Verdot and Malbec out of Mannstand Vineyards just north of San Ysidro district in Santa Clara.
On the eyes a very deep crimson and medium viscosity. This “Bordeaux blend” possessed all the key characteristics of a top notch blend. Dark cherry and blackberry are the first aromas that waft into nose. On the palate, the fruits come fully forward along with coffee, vanilla and a faint black licorice. The finish is both soft and silky (Merlot), but still has a firm edginess (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc). It provided a long lasting crescendo with its structure, tannins, minerality and acidity. At the San Francisco International Wine Competition it received Double Gold and 94 points. Only 202 cases were produced. It is isted at $40 on their website.
The Food & Wine Pairing
Last evening dinner was a slow cooker beef and broccoli. A flank steak thinly sliced and combined with soy sauce, brown sugar, beef broth, sesame oil, Sriracha, garlic and green onions. Cooked on low for 4 hours hours. Just before being served steamed broccoli combined in serving bowl, topped off with sesame seeds. The meal was spicy and tangy, so wanted a “mellower wine” to counter balance the heat of the beef. This was an excellent wine to pair with this delicious dish.
A footnote: San Carlos has a list of urban wineries springing up. Worth checking out if they are all as high quality as Russian Ridge Winery!