2019 Monte Bello Earns 98 Points from Antonio Galloni

Vinous Media

May 2022

In a batch of new reviews on the Santa Cruz Mountains, Antonio Galloni of Vinous Media spotlights the 2019 Monte Bello.

2019 Monte Bello wine

2019 Monte Bello

Santa Cruz Mountains | 98 Points

The 2019 Monte Bello is a wild, exotic wine. Huge, soaring aromatics meld into a core of heady, exotically ripe fruit. Not a shy wine by any means, the 2019 is atypically opulent, and yet all of the classic Monte Bello structure is there, underneath all of that fruit. The 2019 needs time in the bottle to shed its baby fat, but there is a lot to look forward to. I imagine it will always be a pretty exuberant wine. Inky red fruit, blood orange, espresso, sweet American oak, cedar and pipe tobacco leave a lasting impression. In a word: magnificent! — Antonio Galloni


Galloni goes on to discuss the 2019 vintage and the RIDGE portfolio as a whole:

2019: It’s All Grace

“Ridge manages to pull off the impossible, which is to excel in both larger-volume, commercial bottlings while also offering a number of small production, niche wines that will appeal to the nerdiest of wine lovers. The range continues to expand, which makes it a challenge to keep up, but a very fun challenge. ‘Over the last few years we have gotten more comfortable with smaller volume wines than in the past,’ said John Olney, a Ridge veteran who spent more than twenty years running the Lytton Springs Estate before being promoted to his current role as Head Winemaker and COO.

“There are a ton of compelling wines in this range beyond the obvious Geyserville, Lytton Springs and Monte Bello. The 2019 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch, Syrah Grenache Mataro Lytton Estate and Carignane Buchignani Ranch are all wines I would love to own.”