2010 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Merlot (Previously $45)

SKU #1126222 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. Powerful cherry, floral pastille and sassafras scents, along with notes of cracked pepper and musky herbs. Sweet and penetrating, offering juicy blackberry and cherry compote flavors that pick up a smoky quality with air. Closes smooth, spicy and long, with supple tannins coming on late and folding smoothly into the wine's sweet dark fruit.  (12/2013)

90 points Vinous

 An excellent choice for drinking over the next few years, the 2010 Merlot Estate is juicy, expressive and beautiful. The 2010 vibrancy and freshness is there, and adds lovely balance to the expressive fruit. The 2010 delivers plenty of Ridge personality. Best of all, readers will neither need to wait for years nor spend huge sums to find pleasure. Drinking window: 2013 - 2022. If a formal Bordeaux-like classification existed for US wineries, Ridge would be at the top of the list. Endowed with a stunning set of terroirs, the vision of Paul Draper and the talent of winemaker Eric Baugher, Ridge is set to build on an extraordinary legacy of world-class wines. Ridge is one of the best and most intelligently run wineries anywhere in the world. In addition to this gorgeous set of current and upcoming releases, I am also including notes on a few library releases I tasted during my last visit. Prices remain exceedingly fair for what are world-class wines in every way.  (7/2013)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Here’s a rich, softly delicious wine. It has luxurious cherry, red currant and sweet licorice flavors, wrapped into firm tannins, and brightened with Ridge’s typically bright acidity. Not a long-term ager, but a perfect example of what young Merlot can do in California.  (8/2013)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Merlot Estate (100% Merlot from the Monte Bello Vineyard that achieved 13.2% alcohol) comes from parcels planted at a high elevation between 1300 and 2600 feet. Classic notes of black cherries and mocha jump from the glass of this dark ruby/plum-colored Merlot. Soft and round with good fruit, medium body and a vibrant, uplifting finish... (RP)  (10/2013)

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Price: $24.99
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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 (%): 13.2