Tasting Note                         

93+   1999  Ridge  Monte Bello Chardonnay   (Santa Cruz Mtns)   6/2/13 ($40)

  14.5% alc
Color: Deep 22 kt gold. (4.0) Bouquet: Elegant pine and buttered toast complement tart/sweet honeydew melon and kiwi fruit. A little restrained. (3.0) Body: Heavyweight with excellent acidity and fruit. Silky, tangy mouthfeel. (3.5) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, but more intense with ginger-like spice. (3.5) Finish: Parallels flavor with a little quinine-like bitterness. Elegant, long and minerally. (3.5)
Overall: This is peak, but still has plenty of life to propel it 4-5 more years. It might even get better if the fruit holds. An outstanding, mature Santa Cruz Mtns Chardonnay. Decant for a couple of hours for now drinking. As is often true of Ridge Chards, this is not shy on the piney, buttery oak, but it is well integrated and only adds a touch of bitterness (along with the minerals and alcohol) to the finish. Elegant, minerally and interesting, certainly not your typical CA Chard. (17.5)

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