88+(?) 2003 Ridge Santa Cruz Mtns Cabernet/Merlot 9/7/06 ($32)
68% Cab, 23% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% CabFranc
Color: Medium deep purple garnet. (3.0) Bouquet: Rich blackberry, cassis and chocolate oak with cedar. (3.0) Body: A middleweight with high acidity, but not a lot of tannin or weight for a young SCM Cab blend, but well balanced. (2.5) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, but less of everything. Nonetheless, quite tasty and accessible. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor with a little bitterness from oak. (3.0)
Overall: A tasty wine, but where’s the beef? This is relatively light and accessible with not much tannin. It will probably put on a little weight with 1-2 years of bottle age, but I don’t see this improving significantly. Some herbal nuances present without much umph and lacks a strong SCM terroir personality. I think I’ll put my money on the ’03 Lytton West Syrah and/or the 2002 version of this wine instead. A weak showing for this wine, but I think the vintages of the ‘90’s spoiled me.