Tasting Note                          

91               1998 Ridge St Cruz Mtns CS 3/5/05 ($24)

Color: Deep garnet with no clearing, but not black or purple. Looks neither young nor totally developed. (3.0) Bouquet: Sweet cassis jumps out of the glass with cedary/cigarbox complementing. Very attractive and surprisingly forward for its age. (3.0) Body: Solid middleweight with good fruit and cedar supported by acidity and just enough tannin. (3.0) Flavor: Smooth with cassis fruit and cedar and a hint of eucalyptus. Could be more concentrated, but no rough edges. (3.0) Finish: Has a long, sweet cassis perfume to it that is wonderful and typical of this wine. Parallels the bouquet in many ways, but I decided to give the extra half point here. (3.5)
Overall: Not an impressive Ridge SCM CS, but impressive for the vintage and probably at its best now and in the next 2 years. It has improved and developed significantly since I first tasted it about 9 months ago. The label says it can go for another 7-9 years, but I have my doubts about this (sorry P.D., I usually agree with you). Nonetheless, at this price I should have bought more of this for near term drinking. (15.5)