2016 Klein Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Klein Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Information

100% Cabernet Sauvignon – Organically Grown

94 Points – Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate




Monte Bello


Santa Cruz Mountains

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Saturated/opaque ruby color. Intense aromas of cassis and blackberries, spice box, violets, and black olive. Ripe, dark mountain fruit, rich velvety tannins, firm acid, and sweet oak in a long finish. EB (3/19)

Vintage Notes

This historic vineyard, first planted by Pierre Klein in the late 19th century, comprises today’s Jimsomare Ranch. Lower on Monte Bello Ridge, the vineyard experiences greater variation in diurnal temperatures. The drought this year produced a wine of beautiful intensity. This wine’s dark mountain fruit and rich tannins give it great aging potential. It will be at its best in twenty years.


Pierre Klein, an Alsatian, purchased his Mira Valle property on Monte Bello Ridge in 1888. He planted cabernet sauvignon— possibly other Bordeaux varietals as well—and aspired to produce wines as great as those of the Médoc. During this early period of California’s wine industry, little cabernet was grown. Klein’s was one of the exceptions, and won a gold medal at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. Unfortunately, Prohibition led to the demise of Mira Valle and the abandonment of the vineyard. The Schwabacher family of San Francisco bought Klein’s land in 1936, renaming it “Jimsomare.” At our suggestion and with our support, cabernet was replanted in the early seventies; Ridge produced a small quantity of Jimsomare Cabernet from 1978 until 1997. When Ridge took over the vineyard in 1996, it became part of the Monte Bello estate vineyard. This year, we selected a limited number of barrels for a separate bottling. This excellent cabernet sauvignon will develop its full complexity over the next fifteen to twenty years.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 21.9 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early June
Weather: A very wet December and January helped ease the drought. Cool weather in April reduced our lower elevation crops a bit. Warm spells in late June and late July helped push the vines along.


Harvest Dates: 19 – 21 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.0˚
Fermentation: Destemmed & whole berry fermentation. Pressed at nine days. Fermented on the native yeasts. Natural malolactic initiated in tank, finished in barrel 130 days of sur lees aging in new barrels.
Barrels: 100% new air-dried american oak
Aging: Eighteen months in barrel

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; 2.2% water addition; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 84 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.


The Wine Advocate: 94 Points “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Klein Monte Bello Vineyard is another special bottling from Ridge, part of their Historic Vineyard Series. This vintage, the wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 18 months in 100% new American oak barrels. Medium to deep ruby-purple, it gives aromas of sage brush, bay leaf, iron, dried herbs, pencil shavings, cedar and crushed stone—there’s so much here, before you even get to the fruit—with warm red and black cherries, plums and currants. It’s medium to full-bodied and minerally to begin, fleshing out to spicy fruits, with firm, pixelated tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and nuanced. This merits at least another few years in bottle and should age beautifully over the next 10 to 15+ years.” – Erin Brooks (February 2020)

Vinous Media: 92-95 Points “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Klein is the most complete of the three wines I tasted in Ridge’s collection of Historic Vineyard series wines. Structured, dense and super-expressive, the 2016 is simply superb. Graphite, sage, lavender, and menthol add layers of nuance, but the potent tannins suggest the 2016 is going to need at least a few years to be at its most expressive.” – Antonio Galloni (August 2018)

Wine & Spirits: 90 Points “Ridge collectors may remember the Jimsomare cabernets that Paul Draper made until 1997. They came from a property on Monte Bello Road that Pierre Klein had originally planted to cabernet in the late 19th century, and was replanted in the 1970s. When Ridge signed a long-term lease on the vineyard in 1996, the fruit became part of the Monte Bello blend. The 2016 is the first separate bottling from the site in two decades. The site is lower in elevation than others in the Monte Bello collection, with wider shifts between day and nighttime temperatures, generating a red-fruited cabernet with an oceanic freshness and an acidity that feels pithy.” (October 2019)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 90.4

No. of Tasting Notes: 10

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Food Pairings

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