Monte Bello as one of Eric Asimov’s Most Memorable Wines of 2022

The New York Times

December 2022

You may have heard longtime Winemaker and Ridge Chairman, Paul Draper, refer to wine as food. Wine brings people together as a community, and it is a foundation for creating great memories. Similarly, Eric Asimov says in his most recent article for The New York Times, “What sets wine apart are the memories after consumption. Wine’s power to conjure up a moment, an emotion and a sense of time and place is uncanny.” Listed as one of his “Most Memorable Wines of 2022” is Ridge’s 1972 Monte Bello.

Photo by Elaine Chukan Brown

1972 Monte Bello

100% Cabernet Sauvignon | Santa Cruz Mountains

“For my money Ridge Vineyards’ Monte Bello has stood the test of time as the best American cabernet sauvignon. This opinion was reinforced when I visited Ridge’s Monte Bello estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains in mid-October for lunch and a minitasting with Paul Draper, Ridge’s chairman, and Trester Goetting, the winemaker at Monte Bello.

“The tasting coincided with Ridge’s 60th anniversary, so they pulled some older vintages, including this 1972, which Mr. Draper said was not initially highly regarded, though he has since re-evaluated.

“This wine was gorgeous, 100 percent cabernet, as was typical for Monte Bello in its early years. It was my idea of great cabernet: multifaceted, with persistent flavors of violets and herbs, and many years left.

“‘We thought it was good but not great,’ Mr. Draper said. ‘But now we’re going to hold on to the bottles we have left.'” –Eric Asimov

The Community of Food and Wine

In this series of short videos featuring notable chefs, sommeliers, and industry experts, Paul Draper tells the story of the community of food and wine.

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