2009 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Merlot

SKU #1089170 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Dark ruby. Assertive aromas of raspberry, cherry and fresh flowers, with vanilla and mint accents building with air. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering gently sweet red fruit flavors and a hint of candied rose. Shows very good energy and clarity on the long, vanilla-tinged finish. This wine was sourced from 13 acres' worth of parcels within the Monte Bello vineyard that yielded a total of only 25 tons of fruit.  (11/2012)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Merlot Estate is a very beautiful wine that reflects more Santa Cruz Mountains personality than varietal character. Dark red fruit, tobacco and mintare woven together in this bright, generous, beautifully articulated wine. The Merlot is made from two parcels planted at 1,300 and 2,000 feet of elevation in the Jimsomare property, which is now part of the Ridge estate. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.  (8/2012)

K&L Notes

100% Merlot from Ridge's iconic Monte Bello Vineyard, from younger plantings, 2009 marks their first bottling of a varietal Merlot since 1997. It underwent a whole-berry fermentation with native yeasts and was aged for twenty months in 75% new (25% year-old) air-dried American oak. It exhibits bright berry and plum aromas and flavors, with accents of mint leaf, warm earth, and baking spices. Elegant and refined, this is classic California Merlot done right. Enjoy now over the next decade.

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Price: $39.99
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- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

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.


- 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 (%): 14.2