Friday, March 26, 2010

Ridge Wine Blogger Special Tasting 3/18/10

Christopher Watkins, Ridge's Monte Bello tasting room manager, invited a bunch of us local bloggers up to taste through a line-up similar to what Robert Parker recently sampled. Quite a stellar array of wines, a pleasure to revisit many and sample a few new ones.

'08 Chardonnay Jimsomare (SCM)
Nose - stony/steely, brown spice, tight/focused, really nice lemon, some mango, exotic spices.
Rich texture, tropical-mango, lemon, zest/pith, lanolin, kumquat, cardamon. Needs about 1-2 years for the oak to resolve. 91 pts
Note: This lot was held out from the regular SCM blend, as it doesn't have the structure to meet the ageability expectations of that wine. Very nice, but a young drinker. Due to its small production volume it will only be sold through the tasting room for slightly less than the SCM.

'08 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains
Nose - sweet, light, lovely spiciness, litchi and lemon.
Redwood, hint of integrated sulfite, shy, sweet, light fruit, touch of bitter oakiness. Needs 2+ years. 90+ pts

'08 Zinfandel East Bench (Dry Creek Valley)
(100% Zinfandel)
Nose - carmelized cream,rich berry, very primary, dark, brambly.
Sweet primary fruit, rustic, brambly, lime and orange zest, very aromatic sandalwood, olallieberry. bitter zest on the finish. Needs 2+ years. 91 pts

'06 Zinfandel East Bench (Dry Creek Valley)
(100% Zinfandel)
Nose - smoky, with smooth, rich, dusty oak, blackberry and custard.
Smoky, lime zest, charred oak, blackberry, bay. Fruit is stil fairly primary. A bit rustic. Drink '12-'17. 90 pts

'08 Geyserville (Sonoma County)
(72% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 6% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro)
Nose - lovely Draper perfume, berry, fairly primary.
Smooth, deep, berry, quince, nutmeg, sandalwood, nice dark smokiness. Primary berry and vanilla on the finish. Drink '15-'35. 93 pts

'07 Geyserville (Sonoma County)
(58% Zinfandel, 22% Carignane, 18% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro)
Nose - warm, smooth dark berry and jujube, reticent, showing hints of spice and tropical notes.
Dark berry, sappy, dusty tannin, tight, showing richness. Grippy/zesty on the finish, with an ethereal nutmeg/cinnamon spice. Drink '12-'27. 93 pts

'08 Lytton Springs (Dry Creek Valley)
(74% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignane)
Nose - Wow! Lovely heady spice, primary blackberry, touch of pink peppercorn, black pepper, orange cream.
Nutmeg, blackberry, mandarin, sage, green peppercorn, black pepper, roasty black currant, orange cream, smoky char, bay. Drink '12-'27. 92+ pts

'07 Lytton Springs (Dry Creek Valley)
(71% Zinfandel, 22% Petite Sirah, 7% Carignane)
Nose - a bit of stinky integrated sulfite, young purple fruit, smooth oak spice.
Zesty, dusty, smoky purple fruit. Very tight. Drink '15-'35. 91 pts

'07 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate
(58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot)
Nose - classic SCM Cab, and forward proper Merlot fruit, lots of black currant, youthful, pepper, vanilla, golden beet, hint of green peppercorn. Cedar shows with time. Coal, blackberry.
Lighter body, black currant and cedar, Merlot, lime zest, hint of tobacco. Drink '17-'37. 92 pts

'06 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate
(56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot)
Nose - peppery, cedary, boysenberry and black currant.
Peppery, very intense blackberry and black currant, smooth, tight, some green herbs, roasty, vanilla, dried herbs, touch of cedar, a bit bitter. 92 pts

'05 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate
(58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot)
Nose - lovely cedar, classic black currant, green pepper, boysenberry, black pepper, blueberry, jujube, vanillin.
Pepper, black currant and cedar, good density, dusty/chalky tannin, touches of blackberry and black olive. Drink '20-'40. 93-94 pts

'08 Monte Bello (SCM) barrel sample
(72% cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot)
Nose - heady purple fruit, mango, black peppercorn, black currant, smoke, bay.
Dark, black currant, black peppercorn, some primary purple, lime zest, dusty tannin. 93 pts

'07 Monte Bello (SCM)
(79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc)
Nose - light on its feet, classic, dusty, rich, smooth, Petit Verdot shows. Just so elegant and complex!
Intense black currant, tart, smoke, bay, cedar, tight, PV note, elderberry, redwood, cinnamon, boysenberry, green peppercorn.
I originally put down 95 pts, but Dave and I revisited this later, after everyone else had left. It opened up quit a bit and was much more expressive. The nose was very rich, showing some pungeant elderberry, redwood and mint. Drink '25-'50. 97 pts

'06 Monte Bello (SCM)
(68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petite Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc)
Nose - smoky, peppery purple fruit, rich, touch of black currant, boysenberry, peach pie and black pepper.
Dusty black currant, very full bodied, smoky, dried herbs, lime, orange zest, touch of PV, cedar. Drink '24-'44. 94+ pts

'05 Monte Bello (SCM)
(70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc)
Nose - opened up since last time tasting. Smooth, warm, black currant, mango, touch of cedar, hint of pepper.
Lovely smoky dried herb quality, restrained black currant and blackberry, smooth/dusty tannin, tangerine zest. Really nice! Drink '20-50. 96 pts

'04 Monte Bello (SCM)
(76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc)
Nose - lovely rich smooth purple fruit, light dusty complex spices, white pepper, hints of black currant and dried apricot.
Peppery, black currant, boysenberry, cedar, green peppercorn, dried herbs, smoke/graphite, hint of fig. Drink '16-'36. 94 pts

'03 Monte Bello (SCM)
(85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot)
Nose - smooth, dark, elderberry, black currant, hint of mint, smoke, date, nutmeg, thyme, pepper, very deep.
Smoky, elderberry, redwood, black currant, dusty, wild cherry, nutmeg, rangpur lime, dried herbs, less ripe blackberry, zesty finish. Drink '22-'34. 93 pts

'96 Monte Bello (SCM)
(80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot)
Nose - stinky outhouse, rich savory mushroom, smooth, warm, nice subtle oak spice.
Smooth mushroom and black currant, cinnamon, redwood, touch of cedar, slight hint of bandaid. Drink now-'20. 93 pts

No comments: