Tasting Note                         

96    1996 Ridge St. Cruz Mtns Chardonnay      4/16/04($22)

Color: Pretty medium golden, looks ready but still plenty of life.(3.0) Bouquet: Ripe pear, lychee nut and buttered toast with elegant mineral. Racy, classy stuff!(4.0) Body: Light heavyweight that is fully developed. Excellent balance of fruit-to-oak-to-acid-to-terroir.(3.0) Flavor: Delicious and elegant. Pretty pear and lychee nut with lively mineral and elegant buttered toast.(3.5) Finish: Parallels flavor, but even more concentrated and very long.(4.0)
Overall: Wow! What a great Chardonnay. Drinks like a cross between a Valmur and a Montrachet with California fruit. Definitely the greatest Calif. Chard. I’ve ever tasted and unfortunately my last bottle out of 10. This will probably remain at its peak for 1-2 more years, at least. It’s perfect now, probably at its very best. It could be bigger for the Calif. Chard. lover or have more complexity for the white Burgundy lover, but I love it just the way it is because it is unique.(17.5)