75cl * 13.5% ABV * Santa Cruz Mountains, California, USA
Ridge's first vines were planted in 1885, but it took almost 100 years for the producer to wow the world: its wines swept the board at Steven Spurrier's 1976 Judgement of Paris competition. Ever since, Ridge has produced wines that have been rightfully regarded alongside the finest Bordeaux blends and Burgundy's top whites.
The first Chardonnay came out of Ridge's cellar in 1962 from fully mature vineyards planted in the 1940s. A string of great vintages evidenced that the cool climate and limestone sub-soils were ideally suited to the variety. Showing somewhat more restraint than you might expect if you haven't had the fortune to try these wines before, the pale, straw-like colour hints at the relatively cool climate. Lemon zest, green apple and honeysuckle follow through to the palate, which is soft and rounded and braced with juicy acidity and saline notes. Fantastically tense and energetic.
Pair with smoked trout mousse, crab soufflé, steamed mussels with garlic toasts or dates stuffed with brie and herbs.
Drink now to 2030.
Ridge themselves recommend some excellent food pairing recipes for their Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2020, which you can find here.