In 1903, the Torre family homesteaded the land which comprises our middle vineyard (2300').
They planted vines and built a small winery, but once Prohibition was enacted in 1920, the
vineyards were abandoned and the property passed through several owners. William Short acquired the acreage in the 1940s,
planted cabernet and chardonnay on a number of the old parcels in 1949, and sold to Ridge's founding partners in 1959.
They made a half-barrel of Monte Bello Cabernet that year. Its exceptional quality convinced them to restore the Torre winery, and to make wine.
It was not until 1975 that a small amount of merlot—from a parcel planted in 1968 on the contiguous Perrone land—was included.
The merlot proved an excellent complement to the cabernet; three more parcels were planted in the late 1980s.
One of these, the "Bowl," on the old Torre vineyard was selected for this limited bottling.
Harvest Dates: 31 October
Average Brix: 23.5 degrees
Fermentation: Grapes 100% destemmed, but not crushed for a whole berry fermentation. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% new air-dried amrican oak
Aging: Twenty months in barrel
Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late June
Weather: Cool summer and moderate fall, unusually long, cool growing season.
All estate-grown Monte Bello vineyard grapes, hand harvested;
destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on
the naturally occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur for this wine;
(35 ppm initially at crush, 78 ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging;
pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention,
this is the sum of our actions.
Winemaker Tasting Notes
Deep garnet; sweet bramble fruit, tea tree, incense, balsa wood, lavender;
elegant entry, medium-bodied, red cherry core fruit, tapenade, balanced acidity,
summer savory herbs, impressive finish with lingering red fruit and sweet oak.