2014 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Merlot

SKU #1295770 92 points Vinous

 Ridge's 2014 Merlot Estate possesses notable purity of fruit, brilliant aromatic presence and fabulous balance. Pliant, open-knit and super-expressive, Ridge's Merlot is a terrific choice for readers who are just starting to get to know the Ridge wines, as it can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring. What a joy it is to taste the 2014 today. Sadly, there will be no 2015, as yields were punishingly low. (AG)  (8/2017)

91 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Also inky colored, the 2014 Merlot Estate (100% Merlot) offers lots of ripe black cherry, white chocolate, espresso roast, and licorice in a supple, seamless style. It's much more approachable than the Estate Cabernet and is ideal for drinking anytime over the coming decade. (JebDunnuck.com)  (8/2017)

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Price: $49.99

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Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/24/2017 | Send Email
A sumptous, nuanced and elegant Merlot from one of California's best producers. Those who have tasted Ridge's other offerings are familiar with their focus and quality of fruit, but this Merlot is outstanding in the portfolio. Unfolding flavors and aromas of dark chocolate, black cherry, cassis and mountain blackberry are balanced by an elegant acidity and a fine grained yet very present tannin. The overall impression of this wine is it is plush, yet restrained, and is certainly ready to drink now, but will also age nicely for those who like to cellar.

Staff Image By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/7/2017 | Send Email
I believe the Ridge Merlot is one of the most understated and possibly under-appreciated wines in the winery's Estate lineup. Wine-drinkers unfortunately often have a stigma against Merlot, especially from California, but it is truly a noble grape with so much potential. This wine reminds me of some of the best Right Bank Bordeaux I've tasted, though with elements entirely its own. The wine is dark, luscious and silky, with velvety tannins and elegant, perfumed aromas. However, it certainly does not lack for structure, and, like its French counterparts, will absolutely benefit from some time in the cellar.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Merlot

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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 (%): 13.5