1999 Monte Bello

Ridge 1999 California Monte Bello®

1999 Monte Bello, bottled March 2001
73% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot
Vineyard Production: 166 tons from 105 acres
Selection: 42%
Alcohol 13.0% by volume

1999 Monte Bello

In most California vineyards, yields were cut by a cold, rainy spring. At Monte Bello, where it was colder still, flowering and set were put on hold. When summer finally came, the clement weather allowed a perfect set. Even after severe thinning, yields were two and a half tons per acre, equally 1997's record. We harvested the separate parcels from the end of October through mid-November, as they ripened. In this vintage, fermentations destined for in-barrel malolactic were started with selected yeasts; the rest � including all malolactics � were natural. Ninety-three percent of the wine was racked to air-dried american oak and � as part of our ongoing comparison � seven percent to the best french oak. In February, we chose twenty-three of the thirty-six parcels for the Monte Bello. A conjunction of intense black fruit, firm acid, and well-integrated tannin has produced one of the finest vintages of an unusual decade. Balanced and approachable as a young wine, this lovely Monte Bello will develop beautifully with ten to fifteen years of bottle age. PD (1/01)

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Information on other vintages: 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999


The Monte Bello estate vineyard was planted, and the winery constructed, in 1886. A first vintage from the young vines followed in 1892. During Prohibition (1920-1933), the vineyard was not fully maintained; by the 1940s it was effectively abandoned. Eight acres of cabernet sauvignon were replanted in 1949. These were the source of the first Ridge Monte Bello (1962). Since then, the original vineyards have gradually been replanted.


Monte Bello map

First RIDGE Monte Bello: 1962
Location: Monte Bello Ridge, in northern California's Santa Cruz Mountains, overlooking the San Francisco peninsula.
Elevation: 1300 - 2660'
Soils: Decomposing Franciscan rock mixed with clay, laid over fractured limestone.
Vines: Cabernet sauvignon planted 1949-1993, 66.4 acres.
merlot planted 1970-1997, 12.8 acres.
petit verdot planted 1970-1993, 2.2 acres.
cabernet franc planted 1972, 1.3 acres
Training: Head-trained. Cane pruned (on trellis).
Irrigation: Non-irrigated. (Exception: new vines receive drip irrigation until established.)
Climate: Cool, mountainous — between the Mediterranean and Maritime Zones.
Exposure: Principally south/southeast
Yield: 1 to 2.5 tons per acre


Bottle   UPC*   Packaged   SRP   Notes
750mL   744442101993   6x750mL/woodbox   $135   60 six-packs/pallet (6 per layer)

SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)
*UPC number/barcode does not appear on Monte Bello label.
Monte Bello® is a registered trademark of Ridge Vineyards, Inc. in the US and other countries.


  • Wine Spectator Wine Spectator (15 Oct 2002): "A wine of great balance, finesse and grace. Well-focused, the ripe, tart, rich blackberry and currant fruit is intense yet elegant, picking up earth, mineral and sage notes, and finishing with fine, well-integrated tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2012. 5,679 cases made." Rated: 92 -James Laube