Stunning Ridge Chardonnay
Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2010 (formerly known as "Santa Cruz") - Sale $38.99 net
Previous vintage - 95 pts Wine Advocate
Here's what you need to know... these wines sell out every year, so the winery doesn't need to "pump up" a vintage through hyperbole. I find Ridge's descriptions of their wines to be remarkably honest.
Winemaker Eric Bough describes this 2010 Chardonnay as being "Remarkably similar to the ‘09 vintage..."
Uh... y'mean the one that scored 95 pts? Yep...
this one... "The 2009 Chardonnay Estate is an impeccable, classy wine layered with bright citrus, flowers and just a touch of sweetness from the oak. Crushed rocks and lime peel add complexity on the textured, long finish. This is a stunningly pure wine from Ridge. I came back to the 2009 Estate after having tasted all of the reds and the wine showed beautifully." WA on 2009
All Montebello Estate fruit. 12 months in barrels - 10% new, 11% one year old, 15% two year old, 64% three and four year old. 88% air dried american oak, 12% french oak.
Then another 5 months aging on the lees - 1/3 in four year old barrels, 2/3 in tank.
Okay... so? So this is a wonderfully pure, rich and elegant Chardonnay, offering a dazzling array of laser-focused fruit flavors - pear, pineapple, lemon and lime zest, apricot and green apples, to name a few. A vibrant core of minerality and bright acidity round out the package. In short, this is BALANCED Chardonnay at its finest. All of the components play off each other - fruit, acidity, structure and alcohol - with none dominating, all with a distinct expression of the Santa Cruz Mountains terroir - bright acidity and flinty minerality from the high-altitude mountain vineyards. Yummy... that's my word for it! Stunning is another that comes to mind...
"A prolonged winter stalled the start of the growing season by a month. Cool summer weather delayed ripening, but by October produced fruit of great intensity. Each vineyard parcel was picked separately, whole-cluster pressed, and the juice racked to barrel for native-yeast fermentation. The wines remained on their lees for eleven months as the natural secondary slowly finished. In late-summer tastings, we selected the most accessible lots for this fine Estate Chardonnay. Rich mountain fruit is matched by firm acidity. Elegant and fresh, this wine will be most enjoyable over the next five or six years. " winemaker note