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Ridge Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains 2014

Member Review by EMark:

Clear and somewhat pale in the glass. Slight herby nose. Am I the only person who tastes banana flavoring in chardonnays? Well this one has it, although it is not as strong as others I've had. Then, moderate acid appears, slightly lemony. Very slight hint of clove. The wine fills the mouth nicely. Smooth medium finish. Had this wine last night with grilled chicken, grilled cabbage, grilled baby eggplant and Stove Top Stuffing (easily made right out of the box). US$33.99 at Total Wines.

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Ridge Vineyards:
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name... Read more
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge's production facility. At 2600', it is surrounded by the "upper vineyard." In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines — now the "middle vineyard"— new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of "estate" cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California's finest wines of the era. Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and '61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel. The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres. Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity. By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership. A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile's coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist. His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward "hands off" approach pioneered at Ridge. Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established. Cabernet and zinfandel account for most of the production; syrah, grenache, carignane, and petite sirah constitute a small percentage. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962. Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991. A quarter century's experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground. Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit's distinctive character and richness into the wine. Read less

Member Reviews for Ridge Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains

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Snooth User: EMark
8478048,283
3.00 5
Vintage: 2008 09/01/2011

Clear and somewhat pale in the glass. Slight herby nose. Am I the only person who tastes banana flavoring in chardonnays? Well this one has it, although it is not as strong as others I've had. Then, moderate acid appears, slightly lemony. Very slight hint of clove. The wine fills the mouth nicely. Smooth medium finish. Had this wine last night with grilled chicken, grilled cabbage, grilled baby eggplant and Stove Top Stuffing (easily made right out of the box). US$33.99 at Total Wines.


Snooth User: Mr Dolce
4535424,422
4.00 5
Vintage: 2008 10/19/2010

Four glasses


Snooth User: genedoc
8030614
4.00 5
Vintage: 2002 02/16/2009

Four glasses


Snooth User: joshwoodward
129954234
3.50 5
Vintage: 2000 05/15/2009

Crisp but not lemony. Rich, fruity.


Snooth User: ajenks
2145898
4.50 5
Vintage: 1999 08/22/2009

Amazing wine, but maybe needs another 3 years in the bottle.


External Reviews for Ridge Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains

External Review
Vintage: 2010 02/06/2013

Rich mountain fruit is matched by firm acidity. Elegant and fresh, this wine will be most enjoyable over the next five or six years.


External Review
Vintage: 2008 03/24/2011

While this Chardonnay definitely has plenty of rich California style, it shows truly impeccable balance along with supple-ness from lees aging. Expect apple and vanilla bean oak notes on the nose and palate.


External Review
Vintage: 2007 01/04/2012

Plump and tender, this is a polished chardonnay that yields its richness seamlessly. Itrsquo;s both round and completely dry, a sleek, high-altitude white that should develop flavor detail as it ages. If you open it now, match the smokiness to roast veal.


External Review
Vintage: 2007 05/22/2011

Bright golden luster. moderately full-bodied. Full acidity. Highly extracted. Honeysuckle, peaches, apples. Honeyed, rich aromas lead a bright, vibrantly fruity mouthful with a degree generosity that follows through on the honeysuckle-influenced finish.


External Review
Vintage: 2007 09/27/2011

The Monte Bello Ridge grows a different fruit flavor into this intense Chardonnay, its ripeness more tender and subtle than many of the richer, tropical wines further south in the Central Coast. the flavor is full and tangy, like quince marmalade or a savory apple tart. The fruit flavors are complex, filling the texture completely so that the body of the wine seems to respond to the touch with a firm resistance. Mineral Character adds another layer of flavor, completing the finish and broadening the wine far beyond toastiness. This should evolve well over the next several years, and provide a rich complement to diver scallops in a Vietnamese coconut milk curry.


External Review
Vintage: 2007 05/22/2011

Opens with apple and earth aromas, with a slightly skunky note. Citrus fruit with coconut and toast accents mark the palate. Medium-weight mouthfeel. Finishes bright and lemony, with a slight sharpness.


External Review
Vintage: 2007 05/22/2011

Combines richness with an elegant, delicate mouthfeel, showing deep layers of ripe fig, honeydew melon, ripe green pear and smoky oak. Balanced, focused, pure and lingering. Drink now through 2013.



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