Ridge Vineyards Santa Cruz Merlot 2010
Merlot from Central Coast, California
Deep ruby color, with aromas of rich bramble fruit, fennel, black olive, savory dried herbs. Smooth entry, round tannins, elegant, medium-to-full body, lengthy finish.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Powerful cherry, floral pastille and sassafras scents, along with notes of cracked pepper and musky herbs. Sweet and penetrating, offering juicy blackberry and cherry compote flavors that pick up a smoky quality with air. Closes smooth, spicy and long, with supple tannins coming on late and folding smoothly into the wine's sweet dark fruit."
Wine Enthusiast - "Here's a rich, softly delicious wine. It has luxurious cherry, red currant and sweet licorice flavors, wrapped into firm tannins, and brightened with Ridge’'s typically bright acidity. Not a long-term ager, but a perfect example of what young Merlot can do in California."
Wine & Spirits - "With it's light, perfumed richness, this has the fruit of transparent red berries in the middle, followed by warmer, meaty spice in the end. The tannins are earthy and a little bitter."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "An excellent choice for drinking over the next few years, the 2010 Merlot Estate is juicy, expressive and beautiful. The 2010 vibrancy and freshness is there, and adds lovely balance to the expressive fruit. The 2010 delivers plenty of Ridge personality. Best of all, readers will neither need to wait for years nor spend huge sums to find pleasure."
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Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He planted vineyards and constructed a winery of redwood and native limestone in time to produce the first vintage of Monte Bello in 1892. The historic building now serves as the Ridge production facility.
Though Ridge began as a Cabernet winery, by the mid-60s it had produced several Zinfandels including the Geyserville. In 1972, Lytton Springs joined the line-up and the two came to represent an important part of Ridge production. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of Chardonnay since 1962.
The Ridge approach is straightforward: find the most intense and flavorful grapes, guide the natural process, draw all the fruit's richness into the wine. Decisions on when to pick, when to press, when to rack, what varietals and what parcels to include and when to bottle, are based on taste. To retain the nuances that increase complexity, Ridge winemakers handle the grapes and wine as gently as possible. There are no recipes, only attention and sensitivity. View all Ridge Vineyards Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.