Ridge Lytton Springs 2005

It's always irked me how expensive Californian wines are in the UK, probably moreso than any other country's markup. It's not just that they tend to convert dollar-to-pound plus five or so percent, it's also that Americans browsing will insist on reminding you just how much more expensive they are. To be fair, every French, German, Italian, South African, Spanish, Australian and New Zealander that's looked at our prices has made similar comments - and it is similarly irksome - however, I'm not any of those nationalities. I am American. I feel a sense of responsibility, just by association. Of course, it's nothing to do with me, and once a wine has travelled eight or so thousand miles and been taxed and redistributed, there's quite a lot of excess expense that must be accounted for.

In any case, I've always liked Ridge. I feel their wines stand up to the transatlantic premium.

Dark but not too foreboding. The purple is turning ruby.

Quite ripe on the nose - blueberries and quite a bit of mocha as well, but not in an aggressive or unbalanced way. Then comes vanilla and a touch of creaminess. It's almost like crannachan. In fact, it is exactly like crannachan. Awesome.

Ridiculously ripe and fruity. Freshly so, though - not jammy and barely remiscent of compote. It's just bunches of ripe, dark blue and black berries. The mouthfeel is fleshy plums - there's almost no acidity but I'm not really missing it. This is hedonistic, but never unbalanced. The fruit is fresh, not oversweet. The finish is pleasingly velvety.


Tasted 5 November 2010 at Luvians Bottleshop