Tasting Note                         

96    1996 Ridge Santa Cruz Mtns Chardonnay    7/4/03 ($22)

100% Chard, 14.5% alc
Color: Deep golden. Beautiful! Looks peak. (4.0) Bouquet: Rich butterscotch and honeysuckle. A bit reserved and understated. Not jumping out of the glass, but still very fine. (3.0) Body: Wonderful fruit propelled by acidity with just the right amount of oak to tame it. Coats the mouth. (4.0) Flavor: Wow! Intense honeysuckle and apricot fruit combined with elegant butterscotch and lively acidity. Refined perfection! (4.0) Finish: Parallels flavor, but not quite as intense. Has an interesting cigarbox nuance in an elegant way. (3.0)
Overall: Great!!! Multilayered, complex and elegant. At 7 years old this is now completely peak. I had 1 or 2 bottles of this in the past year that tasted a bit past their prime (bottle variation or storage?). This wine is at its best and close to perfect. This wine has always drunk great, but it’s nice to see it reach its full potential. This is the only example of CA Chard that I have had that could stand next to any Burgundy (Grand Cru included). More like an exotic honeysuckle and butter/butterscotch elixir than a wine. Amazing stuff. (18.0)