Ridge first made merlot in 1974 from the Point, the highest, most exposed block on the
Monte Bello vineyard at an elevation of 2600’. Originally, we wanted to see if the varietal
could match the quality of, and be included in, the Monte Bello. Once satisfied
that it could, we planted more merlot over the years as space and resources allowed.
From 1975 on, it has been a part of the Monte Bello whenever assemblage tastings
so indicated. As the younger plantings matured, it became apparent that not only did
merlot complement the Monte Bello, but also had the structure and complexity to
merit a separate bottling.
Harvest Dates: 19 October - 2 November
Grapes: Average Brix 23.8˚
Fermentation: Destemmed/ whole berry. Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic).
Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air dried american oak; 41% new, 59% three and four years old.
Aging: Nineteen and a half months in barrel.
Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late June
Weather: Moderate summer and fall.
Estate-grown Monte Bello vineyard grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed whole-berries
fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria;
22mg/L calcium carbonate added to two fermentors; minimum effective sulfur (35
ppm initially, 83 ppm during of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our
philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Winemaker Tasting Notes
Aromas of dried cherry, rhubarb,
olive, and sun-dried tomato. Cherry fruit on the entry, along with chaparral, dried herbs, and currant. Firm acid, polished tannins, and a refreshing finish.