Tasting Note                         

94   1999 Ridge Coast Range Cabernet Sauvignon     1/17/10 ($20)

77% CS, 19% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot   12.5% alc (bottled Aug. '02)
Color: Very deep garnet. No onion skin yet. (3.5) Bouquet: Rich cassis and black ink, propelled by acidity and tannin. Concentrated. (3.5) Body: Heavyweight with big fruit and tannin. Coats the mouth big time, yet perfectly balanced. (3.5) Flavor: Parallels bouquet. (3.5) Finish: Long, but not quite as expressive as the bouquet, with big tannins and cedar lingering. (3.0)
Overall: Wow!!! This outstanding Cabernet from the Santa Cruz Mtns borders on greatness and is truly amazing for the price. This was very tannic when young and I had my doubts as to whether it would ever smooth out, even though it always had impressive concentration. Well, it finally has, being very enjoyable right now, but will easily go a few more years. Not as complex as Monte Bello and not as elegant as the SCM bottling, but shows wonderful concentration and structure. It's concentration enables it to surpass the SCM bottling overall from this vintage. It's nice to have third-string grapes this good! You might say they just got lucky, but I'd be more inclined to give the credit to their great winemaker. I wish Ridge made more "little" Cabernets like this. (17.0)


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