96 1992 Ridge Santa Cruz Mtns. Cabernet 9/24/05 ($16.50)
Color: Deep, deep garnet. Just a hint of onion skin. Impressive for 13. (4.0) Bouquet: Rich cassis, cigarbox, ink and black pepper with marzipan-like sweetness. Very Pauillac. (4.0) Body: Powerful with rich fruit and some tannin. It does have a touch of alcohol-flavor present. (3.5) Flavor: Cedary cassis and black pepper. A wall of flavor. Does have a touch of bitterness due to alcohol, tannin and oak combo. Still delicious. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor step-for-step. Long and persistent. (3.0)
Overall: The most powerful and ageworthy Ridge SCM Cab I’ve ever tasted. It also happens to be the best I’ve ever tasted. Drinks like a Monte Bello. This could get better (acquire more subtlety and complexity) with another 1-2 years of bottle age, then again it might lose fruit. It’s great and peak now, so why chance it. Hard to believe that price from the good old days. (17.5)
88% Cab, 12% Merlot
Note: Drank again 5/7/06. The tannin and austerity in the wine were more forward with fruit less prevalent. Still plenty of life and power, but the fruit may be starting to fade just a little(?), then again could be bottle variation, or just a phase. Still worthy of 93 pts.