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2006 Switchback Ridge - Cabernet Sauvignon Peterson Family Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 92 WA
  • 93 WS
  • 92 IWC
  • 93 JS
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
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SKU: 56186-2006-750-3A
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 92

    ($80; 15.7% alcohol) Bright, moderately saturated ruby-red. Currant, tar, smoke and violet on the nose. Dense and superripe, with an almost exotic quality to the dark berry, spice and forest floor flavors, but also harmonious framing acidity. This is really stuffed with fruit. Finishes with substantial but fine tannins. A big boy with very good texture and depth.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2009
  • JamesSuckling.com | Rating: 93

    Loads of blackberries, blueberries, and dried currants on the nose, with a hint of new wood. Full bodied, with firm and chewy tannins. Very tight right now, but what an impressive depth of fruit. Give it time to open. Pull the cork after 2014. 14+23+23+33. Find the wine
    Author: James Suckling
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 92

    That is not the case with the dense ruby/purple-hued 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Peterson Family Vineyard. Beautiful aromas of sweet blackberries, cassis, forest floor, and spring flowers jump from the glass of this full-bodied, opulent, moderately tannic wine. Its textured, layered mouthfeel displays no aggressiveness.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 93

    Wonderful purity of Cabernet fruit, intense and concentrated, with a medley of black currant, blackberry, dark plum, spice and black licorice. Firm and focused, with chewy tannins. The core flavors are deep and persistent, ending with a touch of heat. 942 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Drink Dates: 2008-2021
    Author: Jason R
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Author: gotwine
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Author: Naperwino
  • Self | Rating: 93

    A classic Napa cabernet. Balanced fruit, great finish. Enjoyed with a perfect steak.
    Author: RidgeLovers
Switchback Ridge produces handcrafted estate wines sourced exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The property has been in the Peterson family since 1914 and encompasses nearly 100 acres located at the mouth of Dutch Henry Canyon. For over 75 years the property was primarily maintained as a farm and plum orchard, with vines intermingled amongst the trees. In 1990, the orchards were replanted to vineyard, where there are currently 18 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah vines, in addition to a three acre 50+ year old Petite Sirah block that John Peterson helped plant as a child. The rich, rocky soils of this beautiful vineyard property consistently produce low yields of intensely flavored fruit, resulting in extremely concentrated, fruit driven wines that are the hallmark of Switchback Ridge. Bob Foley has been the winemaker since the first vintage in 1999.

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the Haut-Médoc and Graves in Bordeaux, and Napa and Sonoma in California.

The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.

Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Merlot, which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this Bordeaux blend. These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. First-Growth producers such as Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Margaux consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.

New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like Screaming Eagle, Hundred Acre, Schrader and Scarecrow.

All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety. 

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 550 bottles owned
  • 101 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 93
    (Out of 101 collectors)