Mercury News wine writer Laurie Daniel recently tasted several vintages of Monte Bello and had another opportunity at the Relais & Chateaux GourmetFest in Carmel. Here’s an excerpt from her article published 23 March 2015:
“Napa Valley has become synonymous with great California cabernet sauvignon. But I’d argue that the state’s greatest and most distinctive cab is not from Napa, but from a special ridge high in the Santa Cruz Mountains, above Cupertino. The winery is Ridge Vineyards; the wine is Monte Bello.
The Monte Bello style has changed little over the years, even as many California cabernets have gotten bigger, riper and higher in alcohol. Ridge Monte Bello — which used to be all cabernet, but now is a cab-dominant blend — has remained elegant and graceful, with modest alcohol, yet the wine is remarkably concentrated and ages extremely well. Much of that is undoubtedly the result of Paul Draper, who has been in charge of winemaking at Ridge since 1969.”