100% Cabernet Sauvignon
*Members-only release. Learn more about our Monte Bello Collector membership program.
Santa Cruz Mountains
Saturated purple color; seductive aromas of cassis and blackberry fruits, cola, cedar, tobacco, fennel, and espresso and dark chocolate. On entry, shows cassis, tobacco, roasted vegetables, black olive, cedar, and flint. It is full bodied, tannins are significant but covered in rich fruit and sweet oak. The finish is long, complex, and revealing of deeper mineral notes. EB (1/20)
A long, cold winter delayed bud-break and delivered significant rainfall. Summer’s warmth brought the growing season back on schedule for a September harvest. The grapes developed intense flavor, color, and tannins. Balanced extraction was achieved during seven days of fermentation. Nineteen months in new american oak barrels added exotic spice and sweetness. Enjoyable now, this special wine will continue to develop over the next 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.
Rainfall: 44.2 inches (above normal)
Weather: A wet winter gave Monte Bello over 44 inches of rain, well above normal. A cool spring, which affected fruit set and warm spells in summer, pushed vines along. Labor Day heat wave ripened the grapes nicely.
Harvest Dates: 6 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.6˚
TA: 6.90 g/L
Fermentation: De-stemmed & 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 barrels.
Aging: Nineteen months in barrel
Estate-grown Monte Bello vineyard grapes, hand harvested; de-stemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 72 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.
See all food pairing recipes we have created specifically for this wine.See pairings