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100% Cabernet Sauvignon – Organically Grown
Santa Cruz Mountains
Saturated ruby color; fresh cherry fruit aroma with red licorice, vanilla bean, exotic spice, and roasted coffee-toasted oak. Elegant entry, medium-full body, red currant and raspberry fruits, dried savory herbs, cedar, and leather; lengthy finish with refreshing acidity. EB (10/17)
Planted in 1949, this is one of California’s oldest surviving cabernet sauvignon vineyards. When Ridge re-started the abandoned Torre Winery in 1962, and for many vintages thereafter, it was the sole source of fruit. Over time, the vines struggled with disease, stunting growth and yields. Nonetheless, favorable growing conditions in 2014 resulted in excellent fruit quality, and we made this beautiful, complex wine. Combining classic cool-climate flavors and elegant structure, it will continue to develop over the next twenty years.
In the mid-1940s, William Short purchased the abandoned Torre Ranch; in replanting, he chose cabernet from the 19th-century Fountain Grove vineyard. Ridge bought the property in 1959 and, from 1962 to 1974, made the Monte Bello from these vines. This is one of California’s oldest surviving cabernet vineyards. In 2013, as drought persisted, these vines produced their best quality of the last fifteen years. We made this wine in celebration. Wonderfully complex, reminiscent of the great 1970, it will continue to develop over the next thirty years.
Rainfall: 11.8 inches (40% of normal)
Weather: Very dry December & January; most of the rain fell February through April. Overall above average temperatures at Monte Bello.
Harvest Dates: 23 September
Grapes: Average brix 24.1˚
Fermentation: Destemmed and whole berry; 100% automated berry sorted; floating cap, daily pump-overs; natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic). Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% new air-dried american oak
Aging: 21 months in barrel
Hand-harvested, estate-grown organic grapes, destemmed whole berry fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; seven egg whites per barrel added; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (25 ppm initially at crush, 109 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 (August 2017): 93 Points. “The 2014 Monte Bello Historic Vines is surprisingly delicate in this vintage, certainly much more so than it was in 2013. Bright red fruit, expressive floral notes and silky tannins all confer finesse. Medium in body gracious and nicely lifted, the 2014 speaks to class and finesse above all else. The 2014 doesn’t have the depth or profoundness of the 2013, but it is a very attractive wine just the same. Qualitatively, the 2014 is not at the same level of Monte Bello, but closer to some of the single block wines. I expected a little more here.” – Antonio Galloni
Average Rating: 92.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 4
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