Tasting Note                         

94   2002  Ridge  Santa Cruz Mtns Cabernet-Merlot    9/16/17  ($30)

50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot   13.7% alc
Color: Deep garnet, no browning or clearing. (3.5) Bouquet: Dusty cocoa with blackberry cassis fruit. Sweet/tart and lively. (3.5) Body: Light heavyweight with excellent acidity and fruit along with plenty of smooth tannins. Tangy mouthfeel. (3.5) Flavor: Parallels bouquet step for step. Rich, round and delicious. (3.5) Finish: Parallels flavor, but not quite as intense. Still long and tasty. (3.0)
Overall: The blackberry and cassis fruit combined with the dusty cocoa are intense and delicious. Only a light heavyweight due to the large percentage of Merlot, yet shows flavor concentration and character that can stand up to any Cabernet. A serious Meritage/Bordeaux blend that is probably at its best now, but should remain this good for a couple of more years at least. I still struggle with the wisdom of these high percentage Merlot blends that Ridge experimented with from about '01 to '06, but must admit my surprise at their ageworthiness and their character. This vintage and the '05 SCM bottling were the two best. (17)

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