2011 Ridge "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Merlot
The 2011 Merlot Estate is gorgeous. A blast of dark red and black stone fruits melds into a more typical expression of mountain fruit, with savory herb and floral notes that develop in the glass. A kick of bracing 2011 acidity supports a finish laced with iron, smoke, leather and spices. There is plenty to like in this accessible Merlot from Ridge.
This Merlot is not afraid to show its rough side, with aromas of tobacco smoke, cigar box, thick blackberry, ripe blueberry, black cherry and dust. The mouth-coating tannins are strong on the plush, grippy palate, as are flavors of burnt orange, plum and dark chocolate. Let it chill out for a few years; drink 2017 onward.
Wine & Spirits
Ridge’s high-elevation vineyards grew a soft, appetizing Merlot in 2011, subtly floral in its aromas, plump and plum-fruited in the middle, mountain tannins tightening at the end. Built to drink in the next few years with flank steak.
From Ridge's Monte Bello Estate vineyard, this 100% Merlot bottling is something that Ridge has offered only in the last few vintages. Hand-harvested from the somewhat younger vines on the estate, the berries are fermented on native yeasts and the wine aged for 19 months in 41% new oak. From the winery: "Aromas of dried cherry, rhubarb, olive, and sun-dried tomato. Cherry fruit on the entry, along with chaparral, dried herbs, and currant. Firm acid, polished tannins, and a refreshing finish."