Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Chardonnay 2006

Never having had a Ridge chardonnay before, I’ll freely admit that I was expecting something entirely different. At first sniff, this is very much a buttery California chardonnay, with the tell-tale roasted nut nose and fat whack of malolactic fermentation. Mmm… delicious?Yes, delicious. Slightly chilled, the nose is complex and inviting, with sweet cream, pineapple (almost), roasted nuts, and something of a dusty note, light reflected on neglected wooden blinds. Curious!Fairly fat in the mouth, or at least wide, the secret weapon appears to be bright, assertive acidity that quickly cuts it down to size. Before the smooth, refreshing acidity on the finish, though, you’re treated to cashews and pears, summer citrus fruits, and again a sweet creaminess before the acidity arrives to wash it away – and then a very rich, leesy finish arrives to carry it all away on little cat feet. Surprisingly, there’s an almost medicinal note there as well that reminds me of my father’s podiatry office when I was a kid: an unusual ozonic lemon air freshener note (although that sounds terrible, it is in fact appealing in context). Some faint yeasty characterics are also apparently after the wine warms up a bit, subtly framing things in a lovely, earth way.Is this Chablis? Hell no. It it Californian? Hell yes. Most importantly, though: Is it delicious?Yes.Ridge
Price: $33
Closure: Cork

1 thought on “Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Chardonnay 2006

  1. Damn that sounds good. I don’t know about the USA, but in Australia we seem to be putting Chardonnay through the stylistic ringer after a period of very worked, “flabby” wines. Your note reminds me that sometimes it’s worth seeking out the truth in a style that might often be poorly executed and hence become unfashionable.

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