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Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
People seem unaware than Ridge makes a Chardonnay. But Chardonnay planted in the forties was growing on the "middle" vineyard when the founders bought the land in 1959. The first (legal) vintage was 1962. So it's nothing new, though the original vines were pulled in the eighties, and supplanted by those on the "lower" vineyard, Jimsomare. Style and technique have changed a bit over time, consistency has improved, but Ridge Chardonnay remains — as ever — complex, delightful, and eminently suitable for cellaring. (Recent tastings of the '76 and '79 confirm the longevity factor.)
Current vinification practice involves long, slow fermentation on naturally-occurring yeast, natural malolactic, natural clarification through settling (no fining or filtration.) In general: apple, pear, and pineapple fruit predominate. (Some years are more tropical than others.) A nicely flinty mineral element is present. There are subtle undertones of butter, baked bread, caramel. These are complex wines. The '96 is lovely now, the '97 just coming into its own. Either could do with some aging.
"Number 2 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2007!
Shows lots of spicy, toasty, smoky oak, but also plenty of rich, vibrant, smooth and concentrated pear, fig and melon flavors, with a return to the toasty oak. Great balance, depth, elegance and finesse. Drink now through 2011."
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...Read More About Ridge Vineyards
The Santa Cruz Mountain appellation encompasses the land between Half Moon Bay in the north and Mount Madonna (just near Monterey) in the south. Producing wine since the early 1800's, some of these wineries have been around for quite some time, mingling their vineyard lands with the sprawling redwood forests.
Even though the climate can be challenging, and only 1500...Read More About Santa Cruz Mountains
White Wine's Queen Bee
Sauvignon, Chardonnay can grow just about anywhere. It adapts well to different
soils and different climates. While frequently paired with
its native home lies in the vineyards of Burgundy,
France. The only major white grape of the region, Chardonnay is at its best on the rolling...Read More About Chardonnay
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