Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Ridge Estate Chardonnaytext

Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2020

Santa Cruz Mountains, San Francisco Bay, California, United StatesThe success of Ridge Montebello Cabernet leaves many people shocked to hear that Ridge produced its first chardonnay in 1962 from fully mature vines planted in the late 1940s on the Monte Bello Estate vineyard. Production never exceeded ten barrels, and Monte Bello Chardonnay was sold at the winery with few exceptions. As it turns out, many outstanding chardonnays have been made at Ridge over eight decades, thanks to its cool climate and, more critically, its fractured limestone subsoils. Most of the old vines were pulled out in the mid-80s, while the younger vines, planted in the 1970s, are the source today. The newer lower vineyard plantings, not yet farmed as part of the Monte Bello estate, were labelled Santa Cruz Mountains. Since 2009, the wine has been designated Ridge Estate Chardonnay, but in years when differences among lots warrant a separate bottling, a Monte Bello Chardonnay is made. In 2020 an even crop ripened slowly through mid-September. It is all whole cluster pressed, and the resulting juice is fermented in a barrel for six weeks to two months. Post ferment, the lees was stirred weekly for five months. The Estate Chardonnay is full of bright pear and apple with little oak influence (only 10 to 15 percent new oak). The palate is rich and fully flavoured with brioche and more pear that is persistent and long through the finish. Delicious and all at a modest 13.6 percent.Tasted: 10 October 2022Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices:
BC$90.00750mlselect private retailers
Producer: Ridge VineyardsDistributors: Vintage West Wine Marketing
Grape: Chardonnay