About the Wine
Ridge almost requires no introduction. It is one of California's most consistent and well-regarded winemakers. The famed Montebello never seems to be out of style among Critics, Sommeliers, and wine consumers. This estate Cabernet is grown on the very same vineyard as Montebello, just with more emphasis on the Cabernet Grapes. Tb
The Monte Bello vineyard, located only 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean, is part of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, California’s coolest cabernet producing area. The Monte Bello vineyard is composed of unique green stone and clay soils layered over decomposing limestone. Limestone is not found in the well-known Cabernet producing areas of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, making the soil composition at Monte Bello a unique and important contributor to the wine’s distinctive character. The combination of elevation, cool climate, and soil produces a wine that is impeccably balanced and destined for long-term aging, with firm acidity and a consistent streak of minerality.
Though winter was mild and dry, spring storms delivered enough rain for the vines to thrive. Summer fog and cold nights slowed ripening while intensifying flavors and acidity. Whole berries were fermented in small tanks with limited pump-overs resulting in softer tannins. Once pressed, each lot was kept in separate barrels until assemblage.
Aging: 18 months in French Oak
Tasting Notes: 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Saturated purple color with notes of black cherry, chai spice, chaparral and toasted oak. Bramble fruit on the palate with round, supple tannins, herbal forest character, and a long finish.
A beautiful, fresh red with blackberry, blueberry and some chocolate. Pine, light toffee and coffee undertones. Dried herbs, too. Medium to full body with intensity and richness. Dusty tannins. Savory finish. Very drinkable now, but even better in 2023. ~94 James Suckling
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