2004 Ridge Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains, California

I picked this wine up a while ago and had been holding it for the right meal to crack it open. After an 80km road bike ride today that included about 4,000 feet of climbing I felt pretty justified in grabbing a Canada Prime New York steak and firing up the grill.

Wow, I have to say that this matched up pretty bloody well. The Wine Dictator gave it a modest 84 points, but I’d rate it  bit above that. Not tonnes, but this wine came alive with a grilled piece of meat.

It’s a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc and comes in at a very balanced 13% booze.

I really tasted the Merlot in this blend, especially with the meat. The wine took on a slightly aged flavour, with black tea and dark berry/cherry fruit. The nose was all about the black tea, black cherry and tobacco, with a bit of bell pepper. A juicy sip gave up a nice mix of blackberry and black cherry juice along with an edge of that tannic black tea and licorice. Tasty.

It’s a very well-blanced bottle of wine, which would drink well on its own… and paired bloody well with the steak. Yum.

Amazing? No. Very good? Yes. If you, like me, are a fan of Ridge wines, you’ll think this is pretty damned good.

$49.99 at LDB stores here in BC.

4 1/2 stars

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