2010 Ridge Estate Merlot

The nose is sweet, Bing cherries cooked in brown sugar. ON the palate, the flavors are far more tart than sweet, sour cherry and redcurrant lead on the attack. Plum and hints of black fruit show on the mid-palate, along with touches of olive, rosemary, and tarragon. Tannins are big, moisture-sucking, but matched in power by kids. This wine is young, a little disjointed, but with a fine pair of hand-tooled holsters, one loaded with tannins, the other with acids, and a broad palette of fruits and herbs, this could evolve into something special with five years in the cellar. Drink with patience, but when the time comes, braised lamb shanks would pair perfectly. Highly recommended, almost entirely on spec (91). DH

WHO: Ridge
WHAT: Merlot
VINEYARD: Monte Bello
WHERE:  Santa Cruz Mountain, California
WHEN: 2010
HOW MUCH: $45 (media sample)