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The 2013 Chardonnay Estate possesses waxy and buttery citrus characteristics along with green apple, pear, pineapple, wet stone overtones. Citrus fruit on entry, lemon zest, lively acid, elegant texture; lingering crushed-rock mineral finish. The grapes were selected from seven parcels, which were whole-cluster pressed and barrel-fermented as separate lots. During malolactic, the lees were stirred twice a month for added complexity. Fresh and wonderfully aromatic, this fine chardonnay shows the elegance of firm acidity. It will be at its best over the next six to eight years.
The 2011 Merlot Estate is gorgeous. A blast of dark red and black stone fruits melds into a more typical expression of mountain fruit, with savory herb and floral notes that develop in the glass. A kick of bracing 2011 acidity supports a finish laced with iron, smoke, leather and spices. There is plenty to like in this accessible Merlot from Ridge. 92/100 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, July 2014 Ridge’s high-elevation vineyards grew a soft, appetizing merlot in 2011, subtly floral in its aromas, plump and plum-fruited in the middle, mountain tannins tightening at the end. Built to drink in the new few years with a flank steak. 90/100 Wine & Spirits Magazine, Oct 2014 Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, black cherry fruit aroma with herbal notes and hints of black olive and tobacco leaf; medium-full body; tight, herbal, black cherry fruit flavors with firm structure and good depth; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Developed nicely with airing in the glass and should reward another three to five more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended. 90/100 Californian Grapevine, Vol 40, Nov 2014
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Bottle 12 x 75cl
A wine of great balance, finesse and grace. Well-focused, the ripe, tart, rich blackberry and currant fruit is intense yet elegant, picking up earth, mineral and sage notes, and finishing with fine, well-integrated tannins (Wine Spectator, June 00)
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Bottle 6 x 75cl
A brilliantly focussed, classical Cabernet blend, approaching the moment when the fruit will blossom into the multi-layered complexity of a great Monte Bello. Decant well in advance of serving. "A wine of great balance, finesse and grace. Well-focused, the ripe, tart, rich blackberry and currant fruit is intense yet elegant, picking up earthy, mineral and sage notes, and finishing with fine, well-integrated tannins. Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2012." 92/100 pts. (Wine Spectator - Oct 2002)
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The 2004 Monte Bello (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) reveals a similar dark ruby/purple color, but it is not as thick looking as the 2003 or 2005. A lighter, more elegant example of Monte Bello, the finesse-styled 2004 does not possess the power one normally sees in this wine. It offers pure fruit, a pretty, St.-Julien-like style, notes of cedar, spice box, herbs, background oak, and red as well as black currants, and silky tannin. It is capable of lasting 15-20 years. Ridge’s iconic Monte Bello Proprietary Red (no longer called Cabernet Sauvignon) is one of the candidates for the longest-lived Bordeaux blend made in California. Even vintages from the late sixties and early seventies are still vibrant wines. The winery owns just over 100 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines, and production varies enormously based on the mountain climate. With respect to this group of wines, the smallest yields were achieved in 2005, and the highest in 2007. The selection process here is relatively severe. For their Monte Bello, the flagship wine, 32% of the production was used in 2003, 38% in 2004, 49% in 2005, 39% in 2006, and 41% in 2007. These wines continue to be anomalies in the sense that the Cabernet Sauvignon component is aged in American oak, a somewhat contrarian procedure since most top producers long ago moved to French oak. The Santa Cruz Mountains cuvees, essentially a second wine culled out from Monte Bello, are also high quality efforts from Ridge. Each of the vintages I tasted reflects the vintage conditions in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 91/100 Robert M. Parker Wine Advocate #187 Feb 2010
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This impressive 2006 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (71%), Merlot (27%) and a handful of Petit Verdot (2%) to impart a touch of exotic spice. This is an extremely concentrated wine with powerful aromas and an expansive palate bursting with black forest fruit, mocha, juniper and sweet spice flavours, whilst fine tannins provide impeccable structure. As perfectly demonstrated by the recent rerun of the Judgement of Paris, this wine should age for a further thirty years or so.
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Magnum 3 x 150cl
A great vintage for a perennially high class ‘Californian Cabernet’ has produced a wine of intense colour with ripe, dark fruit, well balanced tannins and a lovely seductive sweetness at the finish. Jancis Robinson goes so far as to describe it as “almost Lafite like in its raciness”.
From a terrific vintage, as evidenced by the tightly coiled, brilliantly intense, exhilarating raspberry red & cranberry aromas of this Cabernet Sauvignon 58% & Merlot 42% blend from the lofty Santa Cruz Mountain AVA south of San Francisco. The ride is equally gripping on the palate, which is decked out with pure, crunchy & pacy red & blackcurrant fruit. Drinking now till 2015, scintillating. To match with roast lamb. (David Berry-Green - BBR Buyer)