1978 Monte Bello

1978 Monte Bello

Wine Information

94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot




Monte Bello


Santa Cruz Mountains

Alcohol By Volume


Vintage Notes

The very warm fall of 1978 did not seriously affect the slow ripening on our cool ridge. The lower vineyards contributed intense character and the upper provided acidity and fruit. The wine went through a natural melolactic and twenty months in small oak cooperage and then late in its second year was lightly fined with fresh egg whites. This excellent vintage is quite tannic for the claret style and will need two or three years to begin to soften and at least six years to approach its prime.


Begun in 1959, Ridge was one of the first of today’s chateau-size California wineries, that is, those that limit production in order to attempt the highest quality. All our wines are aged in small oak cooperage with the majority receiving no cellar treatment other than racking. Located above 2300 feet on Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains, we overlook San Francisco Bay


The Wine Advocate (May 2018): 98 Points. “This was a fabulous showing for the 1978 Monte Bello, which is another of the high points of this great decade for Ridge. The wine offers up a rich and kaleidoscopically complex bouquet of black truffles, dark chocolate, black currants, pencil shavings and Egyptian musk. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, layered and complete, with ripe, melting tannins, an ample core of fruit and a long, tangy finish. It gets better and better with air. The 1978 is a touch more savory and a little less lavishly textural than the 1974, but the two are very close in ultimate quality. Connoisseurs will be interested to learn that a portion of the 1978 was rebottled due to an incomplete malolactic fermentation: antique olive bottles indicate the rebottled 1978, whereas the original bottles are in Champagne green. This tasting note refers to a pristine example of the former, but the original bottling is reputed to be even better today.” – William Kelley

The Wine Advocate (October 2016) 94 Points – “The 1978 Monte Bello is a similar blend to the 1985 and is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Merlot. It too is fully mature and has a gorgeous core of sweet fruit, complex notes of spice box, dried herbs, tobacco and black currants, a seamless texture and no shortage of length on the finish. It’s a seriously classy wine that I was thrilled to be able to taste.” – Jeb Dunnuck

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 92.4

No. of Tasting Notes: 51

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