100% Cabernet Sauvignon
96 Points – James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
95 Points – William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Santa Cruz Mountains
Though picked at only slightly higher sugar content than the 1967 crop, the 68 grapes from our fully mature Cabernet vineyard produced a wine even richer and fuller. We recommend to collectors that they consider not opening it, except for tasting and evaluation, until 1978 at the earliest.
Ridge wine is made with an emphasis on quality and naturalness that is rarely attempted. Our grapes are grown in select vineyards (usually identified on the label), where they are left to ripen to peak maturity, often at some loss of quantity. We let the wine settle and age in small barrels, with only rare cellar treatment other than racking. Varieties are not blended unless so indicated on the label. Near Black Mountain on Monte Bello Ridge, our main vineyard is 10 miles south of Palo Alto, 15 miles inland from the ocean, and over 2000 feet in elevation.
Wine Spectator (June 2019): 96 Points. “The 1968 drinks like an old Left Bank Bordeaux, with a very St.-Julien-like profile of bouquet garni, dried red currant fruit and cedar and sanguine notes that are very graceful and very mature, but still persistent. There’s still some tension on the finish underlying the perfumy feel, with sagebrush echoing beautifully.” – James Molesworth
The Wine Advocate (May 2018): 95 Points. “The 1968 Monte Bello is extraordinary, blossoming with air to reveal a rich and complex bouquet of cassis, dried cherries, rich soil, walnuts and subtle hints of pencil shavings and cigar smoke. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, powerful and multidimensional, with a deep core of fruit that’s still vibrant despite its age, framed by melting tannins and bright balancing acids. Elegantly muscular in style, I suspect that in a blind tasting, many would mistake the 1968 Monte Bello for a mature vintage of Château Latour. Likely matured in used Bordeaux cooperage, it’s 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from vines planted in the 1940s by retired theologian William Short, and it attained 12.7% natural alcohol. During vinification, boards were used to submerge the cap, which likely helps to account for its formidable structure and substance. While, at this stage, bottle variation is to be expected, this example looked to be a 50-year wine.” – William Kelley
Average Rating: 94.2
No. of Tasting Notes: 7
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