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