2022 Estate Chardonnay

2022 Estate Chardonnay

Wine Information

100% Chardonnay

*Members-only release. Learn more about our Monte Bello Collector membership program.

Vintage

2022

Vineyard

Monte Bello

Appellation

Santa Cruz Mountains

Alcohol By Volume

14.3%

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Aromas of pineapple, lemon meringue, pear, brioche, apricot, dried flowers, ginger, flint, and sweet oak. Medium-bodied with a soft entry layered with fruit, acid, oak, and a round, full mouthfeel. The finish is long and clean. Enjoyable upon release and over the next six to seven years. TG (10/23)

Vintage Notes

A dry, warm growing season resulted in reduced yields with small berries and concentrated flavors. We picked nine parcels over a two-week period from late August to early September. The grapes were pressed as whole clusters and barrel fermented as separate lots. The next summer, after malolactics finished, they were combined for this fine chardonnay. It will be most enjoyable over the next five to six years. TG (10/23)

History

Ridge produced its first chardonnay in 1962 from fully mature vines planted in the late 1940s on the Monte Bello estate vineyard. Production never exceeded ten barrels, and Monte Bello Chardonnay was sold principally at the winery. Several great vintages, among them the 1973, ‘74, ‘79, and ‘84, showed that our cool climate and fractured limestone sub-soils were well suited to the varietal. By 1985, the old vines were producing less than a half-ton per acre and were taken out. The younger vines, planted in the ‘70s, provide the majority of grapes today. Initially, these newer plantings were on the “lower” vineyard—not yet farmed as part of the Monte Bello estate—so the wine was called “Santa Cruz Mountains” and these vines have long since been included. Since 2009 the wine has been designated Ridge Estate Chardonnay. In years when differences among lots are sufficient to warrant a separate bottling, we make a limited amount of Monte Bello Chardonnay as well.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 28 inches (below average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: 2022 was another drought year, with just enough Spring rains to help the vines through the season. Two heat spells, one in late July and the other in late August, pushed the vines to an early harvest.

Winemaking

Harvest Dates: 29 August – 12 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.1˚
TA: 6.61 g/L
pH: 3.36
Fermentation: Grapes are whole-cluster pressed and barrel fermented. Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations.
Barrels: 15% new oak (mix of 80% American oak and 20% French oak), 85% older American oak, one to four years old.
Aging: Fifteen months in barrel

Hand-harvested estate-grown Monte Bello vineyard grapes; whole-cluster pressed; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush,111 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Food Pairings

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

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