2019 Monte Bello

2019 Monte Bello

Wine Information

82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc

98 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

*The 2019 Monte Bello will be released to Ridge club members during the member-exclusive pre-release period in August, 2022.

Vintage

2019

Vineyard

Monte Bello

Appellation

Santa Cruz Mountains

Alcohol By Volume

13.7%

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Complex aromas of blackberry, tobacco, roasted coffee bean and wintergreen. On the palate, concentrated plum layered with well-coated tannins, firm acidity, oak spice and notes of licorice on the long finish. JO (1/22)

Vintage Notes

Abundant winter rainfall followed by warm spring weather created ideal growing conditions. With the exception of merlot, the vines set a big crop. Fortunately, a long warm summer fully ripened all varietals in early October. During blind tastings, a record forty-one separate lots were assembled to create this vintage of Monte Bello. Structured and opulent, it will be enjoyable for the next twentyfive to thirty years. JO (4/21)

History

In 1886, high in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the first Monte Bello vineyards were planted, and winery construction begun. A first vintage from the young vines followed in 1892. During Prohibition (1920-1933), the vineyard was not fully maintained; some vines survived into the late 30’s, but by the 1940s they were effectively abandoned. Eight acres of cabernet sauvignon were replanted in 1949. These were the source of the first Ridge Monte Bello (1962) and subsequent vintages until 1974 when younger blocks replanted in the 1960’s were considered for inclusion. Since then, the historic vineyards on the ridge have gradually been replanted.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 50.4 inches (above normal)
Bloom: Mid June
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 Dates: 28 September – 20 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.4˚
TA: 7.80 g/L
pH: 3.45
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed, 100% whole berry fermentation. 15% automated berry sorting. Fermented on the native yeasts. Pressed at nine days. Natural malolactic.
Barrels: 100% new air-dried oak barrels: 95% American, 5% French.
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel

Hand-harvested; estate grown Monte Bello Vineyard grapes, organically farmed, destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur 35 ppm at crush, 87 ppm during aging; depth filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Press

Vinous Media: 98 Points “The 2019 Monte Bello is a wild, exotic wine. Huge, soaring aromatics meld into a core of heady, exotically ripe fruit. Not a shy wine my any means, the 2019 is atypically opulent, and yet all of the classic Monte Bello structure is there, underneath all of that fruit. The 2019 needs time in bottle to shed its baby fat, but there is a lot to look forward to. I imagine it will always be a pretty exuberant wine. Inky red fruit, blood orange, expresso, sweet American oak, cedar and pipe tobacco leave a lasting impression. In a word: magnificent!” -Antonio Galloni (May 2022)

Vinous Media: 97-100 Points “The 2019 Monte Bello, tasted from barrel, is insanely beautiful. Vibrant, deep and pulsing with energy, the 2019 simply has it all. How will it turn out in bottle? I can’t say just yet. But this barrel sample shipped across the country is positively dazzling, so the wine’s potential is clear. The 2019 offers superb fruit density, with mid-weight structure, bright acids and plenty of tannin. It could very well turn out to be epic.” -Antonio Galloni (September 2020)

Food Pairings

See all food pairing recipes we have created specifically for this wine.

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