100% Petit Verdot
Santa Cruz Mountains
Saturated ruby; espresso, roasted meat, savory herbs, violets, dark chocolate; medium- bodied, deep flavors of blueberries and black currants, fennel, black olive, silky tannins, sensuous, layered, flavors are persistent in a long finish.
This is the first time we have bottled petit verdot separately. For twenty-one of the past twenty-four years, this wine—from the Olivos and LeVasseur parcels of the historic Torre vineyard—has been included in the Monte Bello. Typically, petit verdot is quite tannic, and contributes firm structure. In blind tastings of Monte Bello components, it showed excellent varietal character, but relatively soft tannins; we decided to keep it apart. Careful extraction produced an elegantly balanced wine, and twenty months in new american oak barrels has fully integrated tannins. This petite verdot shows strong floral notes and dark berry fruit, layered with toasted oak and spice. It will be most enjoyable over the next six to eight 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. Theologian William Short acquired the acreage in the 1940s, re-planted cabernet on a number of the old parcels and for the first time, a few acres of chardonnay as well. He sold to the Ridge 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.
Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late June
Weather: Cool summer and fall.
Harvest Dates: 1 November
Average Brix: 22.8 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.
Average Rating: 90.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 27
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