Tasting Note                          

91    2004 Ridge Santa Cruz Mtns Cabernet/Merlot     5/12/07 ($34)

51% Cab, 47% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cab Franc 13.0% alc
Color: Healthy, deep purple-garnet. Not super-dense, but excellent. (3.0) Bouquet: Tobacco, herbs and cedar complementing blackberry/cassis fruit. Rich and structured. (3.0) Body: Solid middleweight to light-heavyweight with excellent acidity and sufficient tannin supporting very good, but not super concentrated, fruit. A silky mouthfeel, but not quite viscous enough to coat. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, but more silky and elegant. (3.5) Finish: Parallels flavor and lingers, particularly the cassis fruit, for 30 seconds plus. A little young, chalky acidity sticks out at present. (3.0)
Overall: An excellent SCM Meritage. The high percentage of Merlot makes it more accessible than many vintages of the past and adds an accentuated tobacco/herbal component. Nonetheless, the quality, structure and SCM character are there. This is excellent already and should improve in the next 5-7 years. (15.5)