92 1995 Ridge Santa Cruz Mtns Cabernet 7/7/06 ($35)
85% Cab, 11% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot
Color: Medium deep garnet with some onion skin but no clearing. (3.0) Bouquet: Sweet cassis with nuances of red meat, black pepper, licorice and a touch of banana. Different and interesting. (3.5) Body: Good balance of tannin-to-fruit-to-acid. A solid middleweight with some tannic attitude that is smoothing out. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, but a little less sweet with more tannin. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor, but richer with length, intensity and more cassis. (3.5)
Overall: A lean, mean vintage that is finally smoothing out. It is probably at its best now and in the next year. Don’t wait too long as the tannin may outlast the fruit. Now is the window of opportunity for this one. (16.0)
Note: Tasted again 1/26/07. In the past 7 months, it has continued to mature and the tannin has totally smoothed out. Similar to what's described above, but a bit less intense. Fully mature in my book, without tasting old yet, but I would bring it down a point to a 91. It's become smooth and easy, and thoroughly enjoyable. Drink up!