100% Merlot – Organically Grown
Santa Cruz Mountains
Opaque ruby/purple color. Saturated black cherry, cola, fennel, pungent barrel spice. Dark bramble fruit entry, firm acid, full body, velvety tannins; sensuously long finish. EB (10/16)
In the nineteenth century, the highest elevation vines on the Monte Bello vineyard were part of Dr. Osea Perrone’s ranch. A second year of drought produced lower yields and smaller berries, but more intense wines. We combined four barrels of merlot from The Point (replanted 1960s) with eight barrels from West Block (replanted 1996). Together, they show excellent definition, and the beauty of merlot grown on a mountain within sight of the Pacific, composed largely of fractured limestone. Enjoy it over the next eight to ten years. EB (5/15)
First planted to vines by Osea Perrone in the mid 1880’s the vineyard was abandoned during Prohibition. The West block was replanted to cabernet sauvignon in the 1960’s but showed considerable virus and was taken out in 1995. This southwest-facing slope — exposed to cool Pacific Ocean winds — is challenging. We planted merlot, a varietal that ripens earlier than cabernet and used closer spacing. After several harvests, we realized that water from an underground spring was causing differences in vigor. By dividing the parcel into three sections, each could be picked at ideal ripeness. The West block merlot is part of the Monte Bello in most years.
Rainfall: 20.5 inches (below average)
Weather: Moderate summer and fall, finishing early.
Harvest Dates: 20 September – 8 October
Grapes: Average brix 24.1˚
Fermentation: Destemmed whole berry; 100% berry sorted; floating cap, daily pump-overs; natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic). Pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% New air dried american oak.
Aging: 21 months in barrel
Hand harvested, estate-grown grapes; destemmed whole-berry fermented on the native yeasts; 0.78g/l calcium carbonate added during primary fermentation; followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (30 ppm initially at crush, 84 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Vinous Media (July 2016): 93 Points. “One of the more distinctive wines in the series, the 2013 Merlot Perrone brings together dark Merlot fruit and mountain tannin and expressive aromatics, all in a deep, virile style that will reward cellaring. Espresso, mocha, savory herbs, licorice and black stone fruits give the Perrone its masculine and sepia-toned personality. The Perrone is another standout from Ridge.” -Antonio Galloni
Average Rating: 91.8
No. of Tasting Notes: 15
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