57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
Santa Cruz Mountains
In 2001, our fortieth anniversary, the vines on the Monte Bello vineyard provided fruit of great intensity. In the past, grapes from all the estate parcels have been given full time on the skins and full circulation during fermentation, affording them a chance at inclusion in the long-lived Monte Bello. Recently, however, this approach has produced a number of medium-bodied wines—ideal for the Santa Cruz Mountains bottling—but with far too much tannin. Such was the case in the rich, ripe 2001 vintage. To bring body and tannin into balance, we fined several times with fresh egg whites, and doubled time in barrel. This complex, sensuous wine is enjoyable now, and will develop beautifully over the next ten to twelve years.
The Monte Bello vineyard was first planted when the winery was built, in 1886. In the early 1940s, the last of the old vineyard was abandoned; a few blocks were replanted in 1949. Those cabernet vines – now over fifty years old – produced the first Ridge Monte Bello in 1962, and subsequent vintages until the mid-seventies. By then, blocks replanted during the sixties were maturing, and their fruit considered for use in the Monte Bello. Softer, more accessible lots were combined as a different style of fine wine which, since 1979, we have called Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet.
Average Rating: 89.9
No. of Tasting Notes: 17
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