2010 Monte Bello Chardonnay

2011 Monte Bello Chardonnay®

Varietal Information
100% chardonnay

93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
94 points, International Wine Report

Click below to watch winemaker Eric Baugher describe this wine

History

In 1949 William Short, retired theologian and then-owner of the Ridge "middle" vineyard (2070' - 2390'), planted several acres of chardonnay, which provided the 1962 estate Monte Bello Chardonnay for the Ridge partners' first vintage. From 1962 to 1984, limited amounts of chardonnay were produced each year under the Monte Bello designation. By 1985, younger, replanted vines had begun to supplant the older vines, whose yields had dropped to a quarter-ton per acre. (To distinguish this wine from the Monte Bello, we called it Santa Cruz Mountains.) Fifteen years later, in 1999, the young vines had matured; we were able to select several exceptional parcels for a Monte Bello, a practice that continues to the present.


Vintage

Harvest Dates: 17 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.2 degrees
Fermentation: Whole-cluster pressed. Natural primary and secondary.
Selection: 100% Monte Bello vineyard chardonnay parcels.
Barrels: 90% air-dried american oak and 10% french oak barrels (32% new, 8% two years, 56% three and four years old.
Aging: Eleven months in barrel


Growing Season

Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late June
Weather: Moderate summer and fall, long, cool growing season.


Winemaking

Sustainably grown Monte Bello estate grapes, hand harvested; whole cluster pressed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (25 ppm at the press, 20 ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel fermentation and aging; bottled without filtration. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Tasting Notes

“...laced with yellow stone fruits, honey, almonds, honeysuckle and butter...the 2011 should age beautifully based on its pure depth…” -Antonio Galloni

Tasting Notes and Reviews


2007 MONTE BELLO


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2009/6/1


CHARDONNAY - New Releases


2007 Ridge, "Monte Bello Estate Vineyard," Santa Cruz Mountains ($40) - Medium-light golden yellow; attractive, floral, elegant, spicy, apple and pear aroma with notes of new oak; medium-full to full body; bright, spicy, citrus and green apple flavors; well balanced and structured; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended. 14.6% alcohol; 4,000 cases; 100% BF; 0% ML; released April 2009. (Group Score: 15.9, 0/2/2; My Score: 17 [90/100], third place)

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2006 CHARDONNAY MONTE BELLO


James Laube, Wine Spectator - 2010/2/28



RIDGE Chardonnay Monte Bello 2006 Designation: Highly Recommended There's wonderful perfumed, floral aromas of honeysuckle, lavender, ripe pear and apple in this pure, rich and silky white, which unfolds to reveal layers of fruit and light spicy, toasty oak nuances. Ends with a long, persistent finish that's engagingly complex. Drink now through 2016. —J.L. Score: 95

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2006 CHARDONNAY MONTE BELLO


Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits - 2010/4/1


CALIFORNIA WHITE - Chardonnay


2006 Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello Vineyard Chardonnay A selection of chardonnay from the limestone soils of Ridge's vineyards high up Monte Bello Road, this 2006 is complex with layers of flavor-from lemon custard to wheat and chamomile honey. That complexity draws from the soil, enhanced by a long, slow fermentation with resident yeasts and long aging on the lees. Though the alcohol is not shy, this remains cool, sophisticated and reserved. Decant a bottle for lobster salad with apples, or lay it down for ten years. Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, CA SCORE 91

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2000 MONTE BELLO


Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits - 2003/4/1


The Year's Best Chardonnays


2000 Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello Chardonnay $50 Grown on a limestone ridge high above the Pacific, this great California chardonnay doesn't make itself immediately available. There's the fresh scent of the sea, an integration that implies the brown spices of oak and the brighter peach of ripe fruit, a smooth, fresh balance, but little more. Tasted a day later, the scent has evolved to subtle mineral and green tea, the fruit has developed to orange blossom and orange pith. And the length has increased to draw the flavors off in an ever-receding tide, perceptible for minutes, implying that the wine will need ten years or more to fully develop. Here is a chardonnay of extraordinary stature, proof of what this noble vine can achieve in the New World, given the right vineyard conditions, minimal handling, maximum thought and care. (400 cases) Score: 95

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2000 MONTE BELLO


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2003/2/1


Chardonnay


RIDGE Montebello Estate Vineyard 2000 Santa Cruz Mountains. With seemingly developed aromas that hint at nuts and butter, this dry and listless wine comes up short on energy and fundamental fruit. Its flavors follow accordingly and end quietly with but the barest hint of apples giving ground to oddly ashy oak spice. $30.00

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2000 MONTE BELLO


Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits - 2003/12/1


The 100 Best Wines of 2003


2000 Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello Chardonnay -- Score – 95 Grown on a limestone ridge high above the Pacific, this great California chardonnay doesn't make itself immediately available. There's the fresh scent of the sea, an integration that implies the brown spices of oak and the brighter peach of ripe fruit, a smooth, fresh balance, but little more. Tasted a day later, the scent has evolved to subtle mineral and green tea, the fruit has developed to orange blossom and orange pith. And the length has increased to draw the flavors off in an ever-receding tide, perceptible for minutes, implying that the wine will need ten years or more to fully develop. Here is a chardonnay of extraordinary stature, proof of what this noble vine can achieve in the New World, given the right vineyard conditions, minimal handling, maximum thought and care. (400 cases) Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, CA

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2000 MONTE BELLO


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2003/12/23


California Dreamin' - Deja Vu


I found an interesting buttery/hazelnut characteristic in all three of the Ridge Chardonnays. My favorite is the 2000 Chardonnay Monte Bello, which offers pineapple notes intermixed with hazelnuts and buttered citrus in an opulent, medium to full-bodied style with enough underlying acidity to provide delineation. I would not be surprised to see it age well for 5-6 years. SCORE: 90

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1999 MONTE BELLO


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2002/2/1



RIDGE Monte Bello Vineyard 1999 Santa Cruz Mountains. Unrepentant fans of heavy-handed toast and lees may well champion this close-to-pungent look at the grape, but its lack of clear fruit and slightly hard-edged texture leave us less than charmed. $50.00

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1999 MONTE BELLO


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 2001/11/1


Current Releases From California


1999 Chardonnay Monte Bello California ($50): Leesy, sulfidey aromas of lemon, peach, charred oak, toasted nuts and vanilla; rather Meursault-like. Dense and fat but airy and subtle, with a hint of espresso and lively framing acidity. Quite youthful and in need of some cellaring. Finishes with noteworthy persistence. This is the first Ridge chardonnay designated as Monte Bello since the mid- 1980s. 89.

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1999 MONTE BELLO


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2002/6/29


Recommended New Releases: California


RIDGE VINEYARDS 1999 CHARDONNAY MONTE BELLO CALIFORNIA ($50.00) WHITE Score: 87 Produced from 14-year old vines, the 1999 Chardonnay Monte Bello (14.5% alcohol) exhibits a tight, Burgundian-like nose of citrus, roasted nuts, smoke, and orange skins. This is a medium-bodied, pure, impressive expression of Chardonnay. It should open with cellaring (possibly meriting a higher score), and last for 5-8 years.

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