Tasting Note                         

91+   2011  Ridge  Estate Merlot  (Santa Cruz Mtns)   2/6/15 ($50)

100% Merlot   12.9% alc
Color: Deep purple garnet. (3.0) Bouquet: Subtle cedar and cocoa surround tart blackberry and black cherry fruit with elegant meat and animal fur nuances in the background. (3.0) Body: Silky/tangy mouthfeel with excellent fruit and acidity. Solid middleweight. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, but more giving and delicious. Pretty intensity with stewed vegetables in the mix. (3.5) Finish: Could be longer, but still very tasty with elegance. (3.0)
Overall: A seductive Merlot with beautiful balance and elegance. The pretty, tart blackberry/black cherry fruit is complemented by interesting nuances of meat and animal fur. A solid middleweight that drinks very nicely now, but is likely to improve and put on a little weight in the next 3-5 years. That alcohol level is like a blast from the past and shows that flavor intensity does not require 14+% alcohol levels, even in CA. (15.5)

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