Tasting Note                         

93    2003  Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay     12/22/07 ($50)

14.6% alc
Color: Beautiful, deep gold (22 kt). Maybe a little too developed for its age. (3.5) Bouquet: Buttered toast, apricot, glazed pineapple, kiwi and pine. (3.5) Body: Heavyweight with excellent balance of fruit to acidity to oak. Has a touch of heat. (3.5) Flavor: A lot of pine and some alcohol meeting the fruit and buttery notes. Less attractive than the bouquet. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor with more intense toast flavors. Reminiscent of white port. (3.0)
Overall: This is an intense nectar that is surprisingly developed for its age (some cask oxidation?). Because of this, I don't know if it will get better, but it's terrific right now, despite a touch of heat from alcohol. May improve in the next 3-5 years. Similar to the '03 SCM bottling, but more intense with more character. (16.5)