Plum, vanilla, baking spices, and ever so slightly hot. Nicely balanced, if only barely. I'm surprised this is ridge... Not sure I'd guess that blind. With air it came quickly into balance and the vanilla becamea background flavour. The fruit turned more bramble from the earlier plum. It's getting fresher with air, which is good. I wonder what will happen in another couple years.
Deep dark red center, red rim with very slight signs of age. Gorgeous nose of plums, black raspberries, bacon, kirsch, slight raisins, olives. Smooth and a little sweet, but with good backbone, cherries, sweet blackberries, rubbing tobacco, light but supporting tannins, ripe plums, juicy, cherry brandy, smokey long finish with ripe fruit. Excellent merlot, both ripe and restrained, sits somewhere between Napa and the old world, drinking well now but will last a few more years.
A couple of inexpensive Bordeaux and a Ridge: Popped and poured. 13.2% 100% Merlot. Lots of dark black fruit on the nose. I really like the weight of this wine and the light silky feel. It is not thick or heavy at all. There is a lot of fruit here. Dark in tone, with eucyliptus, mocha and shoe polish accents. As it opens the fruit is tart with some soil overtones. What is interesting to me is that at 13.2% the wine is ripe, very fruity and fairly powerful. The Lanessan and Cap de Faugeres were 14% and 14.5% respectively, yet the fruit was a little more restrained, especially the Lanessan. The Bordeaux seemed more structured as well, though the Lanessan was 60% Cab and the Faugeres was in the neighborhood of a third Cab I believe. I am curious to see how the Ridge shows on day 2.
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(Ridge Merlot) Dark purple red violet color; appealing, satsuma plum, light cedar nose; tasty, ripe plum, tart black currant, cedar palate with good acidity; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish 91+ points
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