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Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains 2007

Winemaker's Notes:

Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay is quite open at this stage, showingtoasty oak on the nose with hints of vanilla. On the palate a dash of limejuice acts as a pleasing counterpoint to the richness of fruit; full-bodied butnot at all blowsy, with slightly tropical notes interwoven with hazelnut. Goodlength on the finish and a pleasant balancing acidity. Elegant, precise finish.Needs a few months more for all the elements to harmonise properly but a lovelybottle in the making. Bottled unfiltered. (Alun Griffiths MW, BBR Wine Director)

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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

External Reviews for Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains

External Review
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
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.


External Review
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
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
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
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
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
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
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
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.



Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay is quite open at this stage, showingtoasty oak on the nose with hints of vanilla. On the palate a dash of limejuice acts as a pleasing counterpoint to the richness of fruit; full-bodied butnot at all blowsy, with slightly tropical notes interwoven with hazelnut. Goodlength on the finish and a pleasant balancing acidity. Elegant, precise finish.Needs a few months more for all the elements to harmonise properly but a lovelybottle in the making. Bottled unfiltered. (Alun Griffiths MW, BBR Wine Director)

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