Tasting Note                          

88    1998 Ridge St Cruz Mtns CS     6/26/04 ($24)

Color: Deep purple-garnet. A little young.(3.0) Bouquet: Rich cedar, integrated with cassis and forestal Bordeaux terroir.(3.0) Body: Oaking has smoothed this one out, but still has healthy tannin and fruit to match. Cedar is prevalent, but does not come off oaky.(3.0) Flavor: Nice cassis and cedary smooth tannin. This was the more tannic batch that was bottled later (2nd SCM CS of the vintage).(2.5) Finish: Cassis and cedar turn on here. Mouth-coating. A little green, but long.(2.5)
Overall: Surprisingly, a solid very good. This wine is more cedary than usual, due to extended time in oak, but still has the fruit to balance it out. I would not suggest aging it too long due to a touch of under ripeness, but could benefit from 2-5 years of additional bottle age. Although, playing it safe and drinking it now is quite agreeable as well. Very enjoyable.(14.0)