2019 Monte Bello Chardonnay

2019 Monte Bello Chardonnay

Wine Information

100% Chardonnay, Organically Grown

*Members-only release. Learn more about our membership programs.

Vintage

2019

Vineyard

Monte Bello

Appellation

Santa Cruz Mountains

Alcohol By Volume

14.1%

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Toasty brioche and apple fruit on the nose. Full and rich palate with citrus and ripe pear fruit. Clean and long finish showing minerality and balanced acidity. JO (5/22)

Vintage Notes

Twelve lots were picked separately and barrel fermented. Soon after fermentation, we identified one from the Rousten vineyard as Monte Bello for its intensity and mineral notes. The Lone Tree block from Perrone was later included to balance acidity. After aging for fifteen months in barrel, primarily in American oak, the wine is immediately appealing but will age beautifully over at least the next ten years. JO (4/21)

History

In the late 1940’s William Short, retired theologian and then-owner of the Ridge Torre Vineyard (2070’ – 2390’), planted several acres of chardonnay, which provided the 1962 estate Monte Bello Chardonnay for the Ridge partners’ first vintage. From 1962 to 1984, four to eight barrels of chardonnay were produced each year under the Monte Bello designation. By 1985, younger, replanted vines had begun to supplant the older vines, whose yields had dropped to a quarter-ton per acre and we changed the designation to Santa Cruz Mountains. By 1999, the young vines had matured; we were able to select, in most years, several exceptional parcels for a Monte Bello Chardonnay, a practice that continues to this day.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 50 inches (above normal)
Bloom: Mid March
Weather: Lots of rain soaked California throughout the winter. Spring rains continued until mid-May. Warm summer weather allowed the large crop to ripen evenly, resulting in an abundant, excellent harvest.

Winemaking

Harvest Date: 23 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.4˚
TA: 5.88 g/L
pH: 3.45
Fermentation: Whole-cluster pressed. Natural primary finished late July 2020, and secondary finished by October 2020.
Selection: 100% Monte Bello Vineyard chardonnay parcels
Barrels: 95% air-dried American & 5% French oak barrels (10% one year-old, 10% two years-old, 50% four years-old, and 30% five and six years-old).
Aging: Fifteen months in barrel

Hand-harvested, estate-grown, organic Monte Bello grapes; whole cluster pressed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel fermentation and aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at juice barrel down, 66 ppm over the course of aging); bottled without filtration. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Food Pairings

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