2009 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello Vineyard" Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Merlot
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.
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.
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.