Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2006
The 2005 version of this wine was stunning. Having been lucky enough to taste it at the Vancouver International Wine Festival a couple of years ago, it was unfortunate that the 2005 vintage sold out before I could get a bottle (which might have had something to do with its #2 rating in the Wine Specator that year). I figured, though, why not give the 2006 a try. And I must say that unlike some of the wines and producers on the Spectator list, Ridge wines have personality, distinctiveness, and a great tradition that they have not changed in decades. Ridge does not follow trends, but makes wine in a style that suits them, often with higher acids and more austerity than many wines from California.
This particular chardonnay is definitely a bigger style. But it’s not an oak monster. The nose had toasted nuts and lemon mostly, but also was very fresh and clean. The palate had a ton of flavour, with rich nuttyness, a touch of vanilla, a floral lilly-like edge, pear, apricot and lemon rind. The acidity is in balance, neither particularly high nor low, and the texture is smooth without being syrupy. What I appreciate the most is the wine’s leanness coupled with its full and rich flavour profile. It’s basically the kind of chardonnay you want from California. So, while not nearly as amazing as the 2005, it has tighter acid, and as a result, better food pairing potential. Another win for Ridge.
Very Good+ to Excellent
~$50 at BCLDB