飲年度百大(Top 100, Wine Spectator)好酒 — Part 4

Ridge Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Santa Cruz Mountain Home Ranch 2005,因為買不到 Estate,所以買 Home Ranch 代替。

I can not find an “Estate”, so a “Home Ranch” instead.

飲酒過量有礙身體健康,未成年請勿飲酒!

Drinking too much is not good to your healthy, and you can not drink unless you are adult.

若從 Ridge 酒莊的定價取向來看,Home Ranch 系列是比 Estate 要高一個檔次,但是很奇妙的是 Estate 有被 Wine Spectator 或其他酒評組織評分,但是 Home Ranch 卻沒有(2001, 2002, 2006年皆是如此)。後來仔細查了 Ridge 的資料才發現原來 Estate 與 Home Ranch 之間是個漫長的故事。(資料來源)

1940年代,Ridge 酒莊開始在 Monte Bello 一代種植 Chardonnay,但直到 1962年才第一次推出 “Monte Bello” Chardonnay,也是最早期的 “Estate” Chardonnay。60 年代Ridge 酒莊進行擴張葡萄園,但那時並沒有種植新的 Chardonnay,所以每年仍舊只維持七桶的產量。

而在 1976年才開始在海拔較低的地方種植了新的 Chardonnay;等到約 1985 年,老 Chardonnay 葡萄樹大概每英畝只能釀造出半噸的酒(正常是 2~3 噸),這時候這批新的 Chardonnay 就正式上路了,而給的名稱叫做 “Santa Cruz Mountain” Chardonnay。後來這兩區的 Chardonnay 合併叫做 “Estate” Chardonnay (葡萄主要來自新種植區)。

但是因為因 terrior(風土)不同的關係,有些年份舊種植區和新種植區的 Chardonnay 風味有著差異,所以在2002年 Ridge 酒莊決定把他們分開,給舊種植區的 Chardonnay 取了新名字 “Home Ranch”。但,”Home Ranch” 並不是每年都有,事實上,2005年份是 Ridge 第二次推出 “Home Ranch” Chardonnay,或許也因為如此,所以許多酒評組織就沒有對這隻酒評分了。

簡單的說,”Home Ranch” 就是老欉,”Estate” 是新株(雖然也是三十多年了…)。但,瞭解了 Home Ranch 與 Estate 的來龍去脈之後,就覺得 Home Ranch 這個名字取的真好,讓人有種回到最源頭、回味舊風格的感受。

最後,關於品嚐。因為這支酒現在在市面上已經找不到了,而它的適飲期從2010/2011才開始,所以等個幾年再來開它吧。 😛

According to the price from Ridge, we can find “Home Ranch” is one level higher than “Estate”. However, the “Estate” is rated by Wine Spectator and other wine rating associations in 2001, 2002 and 2006, but the “Home Ranch” is not. I want to know the reason, so try to find out all information about Ridge from Internet, and find a long and interesting story about “Estate” and “Home Ranch”. (references)

In 1940’s, Ridge winery grew up their Chardonnay at Monte bello, and released their first “Monte Bello” Chardonnay in 1962, and this is the early “Estate” Chardonnay. In 60’s, Ridge winery expanded vineyards, but the new plant grounds are not for Chardonnay. So, still only 7 barrels of Chardonnay per year.

In 1976, Ridge finally had new grounds at “lower” places for Chardonnay. These new Chardonnay are not used for wine making until 1985, when the “old” Chardonnay grapes only produced 0.5 ton per hectare (2~3 in normal cases). The name for the “new” Chardonnay is “Santa Cruz Mountain”. Later, Chardonnay wines from these two areas are merged and blended (mostly from the “new” area), and named as “Estate”.

Although these two Chardonnay plant areas are very close, they still have different “terrior”, which somtimes conduced apparently different nose and plate. In 2002, Ridge decided to release them seperately, and named the old Chardonnay as “Home Ranch”. The “Home Ranch” is not released annually, in fact, 2005 is the second release of “Home Ranch”. Maybe that’s why wine rating associations do not rate it.

In brief, “Home Ranch” means the elder plants and grounds, and “Estate” is newer. After the stories, I think the name, “Home Ranch”, is a great name, bringing every taster back to the beginning of Ridge.

Last, about tasting. Because I can not find one more bottle from any retail stores, and its best time is from 2010/2011… So, I decide to keep it for a few years… 😛

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