Wine of the Day January 27, 2014

2012RidgeCH2012 Ridge, Chardonnay, Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains.
Ridge Vineyards continues to produce fine and wonderful Chardonnay without much fuss or attention, certainly this is because of their success with their Zinfandel blends and of course their Monte Bello Bordeaux like red that without question is one of America’s great wines, but still it is a surprise people haven’t discovered the Chardonnays here. These wines get critical acclaim and high ratings, plus they are much less than the competition in this class for the most part, regardless, I highly recommend getting some of the 2012 and sample it for yourself, this is lush, dynamic and full throttle Chardonnay. The 2012 weighs in at 14.5% and is a riper edition of this Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay that comes from Ridge’s home Monte Bello estate vineyard, it is a full bodied wine and is fairly powerful with a creamy texture, but still with plenty of life giving acidity and is very focused. The 2012 Ridge Estate Chardonnay starts with a blast of citrus blossom, hints of smoke, vanilla and apple pie before entry to a palate of layers that include apple, yellow peach, pineapple and lemon curd along with honeysuckle, hazelnuts, river stones, clarified butter cream, golden figs and spicy cloves. The texture is lavish and hedonistic, this vintage pushes the envelop a touch here, though I admire the deft touch in keeping everything balanced and the winemaking shows a lot of stylish finesse. This vintage might want to be enjoyed younger than the 2010 and 2011 versions, I am on the fence, so I do suggest drinking over the course of 3 to 5 years. I think this is darn good stuff and is highly entertaining.
($50 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive