2017 Klein Cabernet Sauvignon

2017 Klein Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Information

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

95 Points – Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate
95 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
94 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
93 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
93 Points – Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits
92 PointsWine Enthusiast




Monte Bello


Santa Cruz Mountains

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

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)

Vintage Notes

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.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 44.2 inches (above normal)
Bloom: June
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
pH: 3.48
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.


The Wine Advocate: 95 Points “The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Klein Monte Bello Vineyard is incredibly appealing this vintage. The nose offers layers of pure fruits—blackcurrants and crushed cherries—with finely woven accents of graphite, leather, dried roses and exotic spices. The palate is equally compelling, with a fruit intensity that belies its powdery tannins and lifted freshness, and the finish is long and classy. What a gorgeous Cabernet!” -Erin Brooks (February 2021)

Blue Lifestyle: 95 Points “Another dazzling wine from the Monte Bello vineyard, smooth, lush and rich with lovely notes of vanilla from new American oak; broad and generous, long and balanced.” -Anthony Dias Blue (April 2020)

JebDunnuck.com: 94 Points “The first time I’ve tasted this cuvée, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Klein comes from the lower section of the estate vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains and was aged 19 months in new American oak barrels. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, this deep purple-hued effort offers a medium to full-bodied, spicy, mineral-laced style to go with the classic bluer Ridge fruits, notes of violets, tobacco, lead pencil, and cedar. It has a certain Bordeaux-like texture and minerality, good concentration, plenty of structure and acidity, and a great finish. A beautiful wine, it has some approachability today, yet I suspect it will keep for 20-25 years or more.” -Jeb Dunnuck (May 2020)

Vinous Media: 93 Points “The 2017 Klein Cabernet Sauvignon shows a different facet of the estate, one that favors finesse over power. Silky and refined, with terrific depth and plenty of character, the Klein is one of the more restrained Bordeaux reds Ridge made in 2017. A whole range of savory, earthy and mineral notes are pushed forward, while the fruit lies more in the background.” -Antonio Galloni (September 2020)

Wine & Spirits: 93 Points “…a brisk, oceanic red, all about cabernet grown in limestone. The wine’s lush raspberry flavor and lively herbal freshness is driven by acidity, pointing up the spicy tannins, which are light but persistent. It has the kind of structure that makes a lean cabernet from the Medoc so facile with fish. Elegance from the coastal Santa Cruz Mountains.” -J.G. (December 2020 Issue)

Wine Enthusiast: 92 Points “Dark-berry, black-plum, light herb, loamy soil and earthy, smoked wood aromas come through on the nose of this special bottling. It’s a very intellectual wine on the palate, combining sour plum fruit with earth, woody tones of mahogany, soy and oak, all leveled by pinpoint acidity.” -Matt Kettmann (January 2021)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 92

No. of Tasting Notes: 20

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Food Pairings

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