Santa Cruz Mountains
Dark garnet red color; ripe blackberry and plum fruit aromas, sweet oak, crushed black pepper. Ripe bramble fruit, tart cranberries, juicy acid, medium-full body, coated tannins, and exotic oak spices in a long finish. EB (4/20)
Heavy winter rains brought an end to the drought. Cool spring weather delayed bloom until mid-May, but an unusually warm summer brought harvest back on schedule for late September. Six days of fermentation extracted rich color and tannins, and beautiful quality emerged from the tank. The wine was sent to American oak barrels for aging. This wine’s richness will support continued development over the next fifteen years.
Since the late 1960s, Ridge has made small quantities—ranging from five to seventeen barrels—of wine from this nineteenth-century vineyard. The vines were planted by Alsatian Pierre Klein, a San Francisco restaurateur. While famous for his Bordeaux-varietal wines, which won gold medals at the Paris Exposition of 1900, it was his zinfandel plantings that survived Prohibition and the Depression. In 1936, San Francisco’s Schwabacher family purchased Klein’s Mira Valle property, re-naming it “Jimsomare” for James (father and son), Sophie (wife and mother), and Marie Louise (daughter). In 1966, vineyard manager Elmano Homem pruned the long-neglected vines, and brought the vineyard back to life. Ridge first harvested the zinfandel in 1968. In the 1970s and 80s we shared in replanting the cabernet vineyards, adding some chardonnay acreage as well, and took over farming the ranch in 1996 as part of our Monte Bello Estate. We now refer to it by its original owner’s name as the Klein Ranch (1400’ – 2000’).
Rainfall: 44.2 inches (above normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: A wet winter gave Monte Bello over 44” of rain, well above normal. A cool spring, which effected sets and warm spells in summer pushed vines along. Labor Day heat wave ripened the grapes nicely.
Harvest Dates: 28 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.3˚
TA: 7.05 g/L
Fermentation: Grapes were destemmed and fully crushed; fermented with a floating cap and pressed at six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (100% two years-old).
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel
All estate grown Monte Bello Vineyard grapes, hand-harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 92ppm over the course of aging); depth filtration at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 91.1
No. of Tasting Notes: 10
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