2005 Santa Cruz Mountain Estate Chardonnay
Ridge 2005 California Santa Cruz Mountain Estate Chardonnay
2005 Chardonnay, bottled January 2007
14.6% alcohol by volume
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. EB/PD (12/06)
Tasting Notes: Very viscous and full bodied with firm, juicy acidity. Notes of citrus.
backgrounder (346KB PDF) |
label (257KB PDF) |
label shot (135KB GIF) |
bottle shot (1.9MB JPEG) |
Spring '07 pre-sell sheet (156KB PDF) |
Spring '07 pre-sell sheet (526KB Word) |
(Get Adobe Acrobat)
Information on other vintages:
Ridge produced its first Monte Bello Chardonnay in 1962 from fully
mature vines planted in the late 1940s. In the '60s, we extended the old
cabernet vineyard, but not the chardonnay. Production never exceeded
ten barrels, and the wine was sold principally from the winery. Several
great vintages, among them the 1973, '74, '79, and '84, showed that
Monte Bello's cool climate and fractured limestone sub-soils were well
suited to this varietal. By 1985, the old vines were producing less then a
half-ton per acre; the younger ones, planted in the 70s, were providing
the majority of grapes. These newer plantings were on the "lower"
vineyard, which was not yet farmed as part of the Monte Bello estate, so
the wine was designated "Santa Cruz Mountains" Chardonnay. The vines
are now included in the estate, and produce a Santa Cruz Mountains
Chardonnay annually. In years when differences among the lots are
sufficiently pronounced to warrant a separate bottling, we make a few
barrels of Monte Bello Chardonnay as well.
Harvest Dates: 30 September - 13 October
Grapes: Average brix 24.9ï¿½
Fermentation: Whole-cluster pressed and barrel fermented. No
inoculation. Natural primary and year-long secondary (malolactic).
Aging: 21% new, 24% one year, 10% two year - all air-dried
american oak; of the well-tempered, three and four year oak, 27%
were american, 18% french.
Time in Barrel: Eleven months, plus four additional months of
extended settling in tank.
First RIDGE Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains: 1985
Location: Monte Bello Ridge, Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Area,
overlooking San Francisco Peninsula.
Elevation: 1400 - 1900'
Soils: Red decomposing Franciscan rock mixed with clay/loam;
fractured limestone sub-soils.
Vines: 18.3 acres, planted 1976-1996.
Training: Head-trained, cane-pruned (vertical trellis).
Climate: Cool, mountainous — between the
Mediterranean and Maritime Zones.
Exposure: Principally east/southeast
Yields: Two to three tons per acre (full crop)
Rainfall: 46 inches (slightly above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Late spring/early summer rains, moderate summer and fall.
||56 cases/pallet (14 per layer)
SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)
Wine Spectator (15 November 2007): Ranked #2 in Top 100 Wines of 2007 -
"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
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
concentrated. Paul Draper is winemaker." Read
the article at WineSpectator.com or watch
the video at WineSpectator.com.
Calgary Herald (22 July 2007):
"Ridge may be better known for its red wines but this Chardonnay
only reinforces my opinion that this producer can do no wrong.
This is a terrific, albeit pricey, Chardonnay, offering minerals,
melon and tropical fruit notes that strike a nice balance with the new
oak component. Serve it with salmon, grilled lobster or pork
tenderloin." -Geoff Last
Wine Spectator (16 May 2007):
"Shows lots of spicy, toasty, smoky oak, but also plenty of
rich, vibrant, smooth and concentrated pear, fig and melon flavors,
with a return to the toasty oak. Great balance, depth, elegance and
finesse. Drink now through 2011." (Rated: 95) -James Laube
- California Grapevine (Vol. 33, No. 2, April-May 2007):
"Medium-light to medium golden yellow; forward, very toasty aroma
with a note of burnt matchstick; full body; rich, fleshy, slightly viscous,
ripe tropical fruit flavors with a creamy mouthfeel; lingering aftertaste.
Liked the flavors much better than the aroma. Recommended."
(My Score: 84)