1977 Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello, 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 11.7% alc.:
Still good dark color, with just a hint o’ rust; the pretty nose of restrained Draper perfume, leather and mahogany follows through on the palate with a solid core of black currant/cassis, and Tom Warren made mention of “good mushrooms.” Still in great shape and in no danger of fading any time soon. The alcohol content was not lost on most tasters.
1995 Ridge York Creek Petite Sirah, 12.8% alc.: Showing good dark color, with pretty Draper perfume and black fruit on the nose, and plenty more of the same in the mouth; really in a nice drinking window and like the ‘77 Monte Bello, a surprisingly low alcohol level.
1999 Ridge Geyserville Sonoma County, 68% Zinfandel, 16% Carignane, 16% Petite Sirah: Showing nice Draper perfume, with the American oak integrating well over a big, rich core of blackberry and black raspberry; still very well structured and on the way up. I’d give this one a few more years, because it’s going to be a beauty.
Thanx for the notes… I’ve got a few older Ridge Cabs (York Creek, Jimsomare, Santa Cruz) heading my way that I’m looking forward to opening. I have had great luck (knock on wood) with other older Ridges I have tried and bought, and I love reading notes like these.
Glad you found the notes useful, James, thanks. Ridge has a wonderful track record for longevity with their wines, even their Chardonnays, believe it or not! Let us know how the wines show when you pull the corks, eh?
I love the low alcohol wines. I wonder how many people would appreciate that '77 though (I know I would). I brought an '80 to our Cab smackdown in Chicago on Friday and it did not do very well. I liked it a lot but I heard one person say, “you would only like this wine if you liked old wines”. These wines take on so many interesting characteristics as they age and fortunately not too many people do love them so I only have to go toe to toe with a few on winebid every week.
I haven’t had the '77 MB but I did have a zin from that vintage, I think the San Luis Obispo if memory serves – at Berns. Was terrific and stood up right next to the rest of the wines we had (at a fraction of their price).