Charge Date: June 2022
Ship Date: March 2024
Because of the unique growing conditions we experienced at Monte Bello in 2021 and our strict selection process, the total volume of 2021 Monte Bello will be significantly smaller than what we produce in an average year.
On rare occasions like this where the production size is below normal, we look at each member’s tenure in the Monte Bello Collector program to determine who will receive a futures allocation. Unfortunately, we will not be able to extend a futures offer to the entire membership this year. We are hopeful that the 2022 vintage, and subsequent vintages, will return to a more typical production size and that we will be able to extend a futures offer to everyone in the program in the coming years. Members who will not be receiving a futures offer for the 2021 vintage did, however, receive their annual shipment of our estate wines from the Monte Bello Vineyard in March and will continue to enjoy their member benefits throughout the year.
After the widespread fires of 2020, we hoped for a winter and spring with ample rain to replenish groundwater and diminish the intensity of any fires in 2021. Unfortunately, the rain never came and instead California entered into one of its most severe droughts. While there were no serious fires near Monte Bello in 2021, the lack of soil moisture had an impact on the vines. At Monte Bello we saw stress throughout the vineyard as the vines struggled to find water and nutrients. To combat this, we dropped crop, especially in the young cabernet, to lighten the load.
An early budbreak coupled with warmer than normal weather throughout the growing season, including several heat waves in August, hastened ripening. By mid-August, the earliest ever in Ridge history, we began picking the chardonnay, followed quickly by the cabernet and merlot. Most unusually, we began picking at the upper vineyards of Perrone and Torre and worked our way down the hill, whereas typically we start below at Klein and move upward. Once we began picking, we did not stop for four weeks, making 2021 also one of the shortest, most condensed crops ever for Ridge.
While yields were down for all of the Bordeaux varieties, cabernet sauvignon was a full third below average…
375ml – $80
750ml – $155
1.5L – $313
3.0L – $690
6.0L – $1,380
Exclusive member pricing on Monte Bello futures is approximately 40% off the final release price. Each year we will remind you of your standing reservation; you may change, confirm, or cancel. Due to limited production, allocation increases will not be accepted for the 2021 vintage. Please be aware that if you choose to reduce your 2021 allocation, that quantity becomes your new standing allocation with no guarantee that you will be able to increase it with future vintages.
If you have a 2019 futures order (purchased in 2020) that you have not yet picked up, you have the option of picking up your order at one of our winery locations. We are open for appointment-based tastings and wine pickups seven days/week.