2021 Monte Bello

2021 Monte Bello

Wine Information

64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot

*The 2021 Monte Bello will be released to Monte Bello Collector members with a futures order in March of 2024 and will be released to all club members during the member-exclusive release period in August.




Monte Bello


Santa Cruz Mountains

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Deep ruby color. Ripe mountain blackberry and cassis, anise, lavender, violets, sweet toasted oak and earthy, mineral components. Bold fruit at entry coupled with fine-grained tannins and firm acidity. Layered and complex mid-palate with a long, intense finish. TG (4/23)

Vintage Notes

Warm weather in August, especially at the higher elevations, expedited ripeness. For the first time, we harvested from the top vineyard at Perrone to the bottom at Klein. The drought reduced yields by more than a third, resulting in small berries with exceptional tannin and color concentration. This year, instead of all parcels finishing malolactic in barrel as in the past, sixty percent finished in tank. This classic Monte Bello will develop over the next twenty to twenty-five years. JO (5/23)


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: 14 inches (30% of normal)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: A dry winter and spring stressed the vines, limiting yields and concentrating flavors. Harvest was early, accelerated by a heat wave in early September. For the first time in our 50+ year history we finished our Monte Bello harvest before Lytton Springs.


Harvest Dates: 1 – 24 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.4˚
TA: 6.90 g/L
pH: 3.46
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed, 100% whole berry fermentation. Fermented on the native yeasts. Natural malolactic.
Selection: Twenty-two Monte Bello parcels
Barrels: 100% new oak barrels: 92% American oak, 8% French oak
Aging: Nineteen months in barrel

Hand-harvested; estate grown Monte Bello Vineyard grapes, 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, 108 ppm during aging; depth filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

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Food Pairings

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