Ridge is Californian aristocracy, and the Estate Chardonnay 2013 from the Monte Bello Vineyard combines ripe Californian fruit from this famous limestone vineyard with Burgundian structure.
Hold onto your hats: ‘estate’ means Monte Bello, Ridge’s renowned Santa Cruz Mountains vineyard, home of California’s most prestigious wine. Ridge Estate Chardonnay is made from vines planted in the 1970’s that are farmed as part of the historic Monte Bello vineyard (in certain years, the best lots produce a Monte Bello Chardonnay). This ultra-refined California chardonnay, with a mineral backbone that is uncannily suggestive of Burgundy. It’s richly fruit too, with peach, apple and pastry flavours, but kept trim and fresh with sizzling acidity. Barrel-fermented in mostly used American oak casks (there is a small percentage of new and French oak) and aged on the texture-enhancing lees for a year. One of California’s greatest under-the-radar bargains, it can be enjoyed now for its sumptuous and extroverted fruit primacy, or cellared for added layers of toasty, nutty complexity. A glorious food wine for rich fish or veal, or artisan aged cheese.