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Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay 2007

Winemaker's Notes:

2007 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Estate is 100% Chardonnay. It was bottled in January 2009. Ridge writes: "In this cool, mountainous region, each season presents its own grape-growing challenges. Our goal, as farmer and vintner, is to fine-tune the vineyard so the grapes will ripen before the first storms. We anticipated an early harvest this year; that changed abruptly when cold weather stalled the vines. We picked in late September. After wholecluster pressing, the juice was racked to barrel for natural primary fermentation. Lees were stirred weekly through April, maintaining freshness and adding texture. We blind-tasted the lots, choosing the most elegant and approachable for this fine chardonnay. Once assembled, it settled for five months and was bottled without filtration. The wine shows complex fruit, firm acidity, and mineral elements. It will be at its best over the next five to seven years".

Region: Australia

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Winery: Ridge Vineyards
Color: White
Varietal: Chardonnay
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Ridge Vineyards:
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name... Read more
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge's production facility. At 2600', it is surrounded by the "upper vineyard." In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines — now the "middle vineyard"— new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of "estate" cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California's finest wines of the era. Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and '61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel. The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres. Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity. By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership. A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile's coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist. His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward "hands off" approach pioneered at Ridge. Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established. Cabernet and zinfandel account for most of the production; syrah, grenache, carignane, and petite sirah constitute a small percentage. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962. Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991. A quarter century's experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground. Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit's distinctive character and richness into the wine. Read less

Member Reviews for Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay

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Snooth User: VegasOenophile
20275912,198
4.50 5
05/03/2010

Great tropical fruit with toasty creamy oak and all in balance. Very nice chardonnay! - Tasted at Lytton Springs 4/21/10


Snooth User: VegasOenophile
20275912,198
4.00 5
08/01/2009

Nice elegant chardonnay with a great smoky quality throughout. Fig, honedydew and melon and that smoky oak. Very nice.


External Reviews for Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay

External Review
Source: Astor Wines & Spirits
12/24/2009

While this Chardonnay definitely has plenty of rich California style, it shows truly impeccable balance along with supple-ness from lees aging. Expect apple and vanilla bean oak notes on the nose and palate.



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2007 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Estate is 100% Chardonnay. It was bottled in January 2009. Ridge writes: "In this cool, mountainous region, each season presents its own grape-growing challenges. Our goal, as farmer and vintner, is to fine-tune the vineyard so the grapes will ripen before the first storms. We anticipated an early harvest this year; that changed abruptly when cold weather stalled the vines. We picked in late September. After wholecluster pressing, the juice was racked to barrel for natural primary fermentation. Lees were stirred weekly through April, maintaining freshness and adding texture. We blind-tasted the lots, choosing the most elegant and approachable for this fine chardonnay. Once assembled, it settled for five months and was bottled without filtration. The wine shows complex fruit, firm acidity, and mineral elements. It will be at its best over the next five to seven years".

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