Crisp with great acidity, minerality with a very round, full mouthfeel, outstanding balance and depth. Oak, wet stone, butter, pear and citrus. 14.6% alcohol by volume, but you would never guess the alcohol was that high. In my opinion, this is also a great marriage of old world and new world styles…..
If you can find this wine, I would recommend (without hesitation) that you should but it — it is showing very well right now and will continue to evolve for the next 3-5 years.
The vineyard is sold out of the wine — it had been offering a single bottle limit. You can find it on Wine Commune for about 80 bucks a bottle.
Wine Spectator notes
Top 100 Wines of the Year
Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Santa Cruz Mountain Estate 2005
95 points / $35
2,000 cases made
The Chardonnay in the Ridge lineup might be overshadowed by the label’s famous Cabernet-based Monte Bello, but Ridge has been making Chardonnay since 1962. The Santa Cruz bottling comes from 12 lots of vines planted on the Monte Bello estate vineyard in the 1980s, with elevation ranging from 1,400 to 1,900 feet. The cool, mountain climate keeps the acidity lively and the flavors fresh and 2005 Chardonnay, bottled January 2007.
Inclement weather battered our mountain vineyard this year, and delayed the arrival of spring. Not until early June did the growing season really get underway. Fortunately, five weeks of unusually warm weather caused an inversion layer, increasing both nighttime and daytime temperatures. The vines caught up sufficiently for the grapes to attain full flavor, albeit with very firm acidity. We harvested in early October, pressed the fruit as whole clusters, and racked to air-dried american oak barrels for a natural-yeast fermentation. During an extended in-barrel malolactic, the lees were stirred once a week. In a series of blind tastings, we selected eight beautifully-integrated lots showing defined, yet sensuous fruit. This excellent Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay is enjoyable now, and will develop fully over the next four to five years.