2011 Torre Merlot

2011 Torre Merlot

Wine Information

100% Merlot




Monte Bello


Santa Cruz Mountains

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Deep garnet; sweet bramble fruit, tea tree, incense, balsa wood, lavender; elegant entry, medium-bodied, red cherry core fruit, tapenade, balanced acidity, summer savory herbs, impressive finish with lingering red fruit and sweet oak.

Vintage Notes

The Torre family planted their first vines in the late 19th century, on land that became our Monte Bello estate in 1959. Those original vines were lost during Prohibition. Cabernet, replanted in 1949, provided the fruit for the first Ridge Monte Bello in 1962. Merlot was planted on The Point in 1968, and included in the Monte Bello beginning in 1975. Three merlot parcels were added between 1988 and 1990, and since 2009, we have held out a few barrels for a single-varietal, historic-vineyard bottling. A cool summer moderated ripeness, and warm weather in late October intensified flavors for harvest. Seven days of fermentation and controlled pump-overs have produced a well-structured wine. This merlot shows classic mountain fruit, great structure, and firm acidity. It will continue to develop in bottle, and be at its best over the next ten to twelve years. EB (6/13)


In 1903, the Torre family homesteaded the land which comprises our middle vineyard (2300′). They planted vines and built a small winery, but once Prohibition was enacted in 1920, the vineyards were abandoned and the property passed through several owners. William Short acquired the acreage in the 1940s, planted cabernet and chardonnay on a number of the old parcels in 1949, and sold to Ridge’s founding partners in 1959. They made a half-barrel of Monte Bello Cabernet that year. Its exceptional quality convinced them to restore the Torre winery, and to make wine. It was not until 1975 that a small amount of merlot—from a parcel planted in 1968 on the contiguous Perrone land—was included. The merlot proved an excellent complement to the cabernet; three more parcels were planted in the late 1980s. One of these, the “Bowl,” on the old Torre vineyard was selected for this limited bottling.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)

Bloom: Late June

Weather: Cool summer and moderate fall, unusually long, cool growing season.


Harvest Dates: 31 October

Average Brix: 23.5 degrees

Fermentation: Grapes 100% destemmed, but not crushed for a whole berry fermentation. Pressed at seven days.

Barrels: 100% new air-dried amrican oak

Aging: Twenty months in barrel

All estate-grown Monte Bello vineyard grapes, hand harvested; destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur for this wine; (35 ppm initially at crush, 78 ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 90.2

No. of Tasting Notes: 24

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