Good afternoon, Wine Lunch! How the Monte Bello are you?

It’s lunchtime on the mountain, and that’s a very fine thing …


2004 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Chardonnay

Rich, supple, viscous mouthfeel, with warm tropical fruit and sweet, creamy vanilla and beurre blanc on the nose … Wide-reaching on the palate, and still showing tremendous minerality, with healthy though softening sprigs of acidity … finish is long and warm and wintry, with hints of toffee and caramel resting below a venetian striate of lemon, banana, creme fraiche, and fresh pastry …

2005 Ridge Vineyards Geyserville

This is a wine that has undergone some delicious moves of late; an extraordinary vintage, unquestionably, but an offering that has been prone to showing its sweeter, riper side on most occasions to date. That said, today’s tasting (and two other recent occasions as well) show the wine to have shed some of its babyfat, exposing a more supple grace, with more complex layering and musculature. The dark herbal notes on the low end are redolent of clove and tobacco and nutmeg; the low-tone fruit is plummy and rich, and the high-tones are berry-driven and spry.

1992 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello (375ml)

We’ve been tasting a great many half-bottles of this vintage of late (Paul calls for them with an astonishing degree of frequency!), and it’s no small wonder; at this bottle size, the developmental trajectory is such that the wine is at pretty much optimal maturation; the fruit is still present, but it’s become considerably darker in tone and more serious, the spectrum of herbal complexities is complete and fully filled in, the acidity is still agile and spirited, and the herbaceousness has integrated perfectly.

Categories: Bordeaux varietals, Chardonnay, Food & Wine Pairing, Geyserville, Monte Bello, Paul Draper, Tasting Flights, Tasting Notes, Varietals & Blends, Zinfandel

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