2006 Ridge "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

SKU #1051882 96 points Antonio Galloni

 The 2006 Chardonnay Monte Bello possesses striking energy and tension throughout, with finely-cut, chiseled fruit and remarkable freshness for its age. White orchard fruit, flowers, mint and a hint of spice add nuance, but it is the wine's pulsating freshness that really makes an impression in this tasting. Ridge hit it out of the park with the 2006 Monte Bello Chardonnay. As good as the 2006 is, it appears to still need a little more bottle age to be at its peak! (AG)  (7/2015)

95 points Wine Spectator

 *Top 100 of 2010, Highly Recommended* There's wonderful perfumed, floral aromas of honeysuckle, lavender, ripe pear and apple in this pure, rich and silky white, which unfolds to reveal layers of fruit and light spicy, toasty oak nuances. Ends with a long, persistent finish that's engagingly complex.  (2/2010)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 A selection of Chardonnay from the limestone soils of Ridge's vineyards high up Monte Bello Road, this 2006 is complex with layers of flavor—from lemon custard to wheat and chamomile honey. That complexity draws from the soil, enhanced by a long, slow fermentation with resident yeasts and long aging on the lees. Though the alcohol is not shy, this remains cool, sophisticated and reserved. Decant a bottle for lobster salad with apples, or lay it down for ten years.  (4/2010)

Jancis Robinson

 Lemony gold with a hint of green. Lots of minerals on the nose. Very rich start and then it’s all reined in. So it can be rather like a Grand Cru burgundy on the front palate. Really tangy, superripe melon notes with a hint of milky coffee on the end. Very neat and precise but much broader and bigger than most Chardonnays. Sweet but not heavy. (18/20 points)  (3/2010)

K&L Notes

Despite a cold and wet spring that delayed the 2006 growing season, the skilled folks at Ridge made a lovely Monte Bello Chardonnay with lovely floral aromas and gorgeous notes of spiced Bartlett pears and Goldrush apples.

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.4