Home / Products / Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains (Cellar Release) VINTAGES 1994-2017

Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains (Cellar Release) VINTAGES 1994-2017

$250.00
Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains (Cellar Release) VINTAGES 1994-2017

Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains (Cellar Release) VINTAGES 1994-2017

$250.00
description
1994 Vintage Notes:
73% Cabernet Sauvignon,15% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot
The ’94 vintage followed the pattern of the last three years: spring rains and a late start to the growing season. Though the set was not heavy, we thinned rigorously to help ensure full maturity by harvest. Again, cool nights held acids high as the grapes ripened. We harvested from October 18 to 28—late, but fairly typical of our cool region. A light egg white fining and seventeen months in new, air-dried oak have softened the tannins beautifully. The merlot has enhanced fullness, the petit verdot, structure and spice. Both together, with the franc, add complexity. Though approachable as a young wine, this lovely vintage will be at its best with five to fifteen years of bottle age.
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2006 Vintage Notes:
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
Winter was wet and cold through April, but May’s warm weather let the vines set a full crop. Summer was unusually warm; picking began on September 18, ahead of schedule. Though a cool October slowed ripening, all parcels were harvested within five weeks, and natural yeasts started the primary within three days. Those first fermentations alerted us to how rapidly color and tannin were being extracted. We reduced pump-overs, and pressed at day ten. Uninoculated secondary began in tank; eighty percent of the thirty-six lots were racked to barrel for completion. Thirteen were selected for the first assemblage in late January. Four intense cabernet lots required egg-white fining to soften tannins. Additions of petit verdot and cabernet franc contributed depth. Balanced and elegant now, this exceptional vintage has the structure to carry it for twenty-five years or more. EB (3/08)
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2010 Vintage Notes:
74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
A long winter gave way to a cool growing season. The vines bloomed a month late, but caught up by September, and all twenty-four parcels were harvested in October. Fruit was destemmed, but not crushed, the whole berries sorted to remove stem fragments. Natural fermentations were vigorous; we pressed at day seven, on average. Uninoculated malolactics began in tank, and finished in barrel within three weeks; sixteen lots were selected at first assemblage in March. At second assemblage, an excellent cabernet parcel was added. Balanced tannins, firm acidity, and defined fruit distinguish this sensuous wine, which will continue to develop over the next thirty years.
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2012 Vintage Notes:
64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
A dry winter ended abruptly in February, as we raced to finish pruning before new growth emerged. That early start to the growing season, and late September heat, threatened to over-ripen the fruit. With help from our Sonoma crew, we harvested in a record sixteen days. Despite limiting pump-overs and pressing early, tannins were quick to extract, producing one of our most structured vintages. In tastings, 19 of 24 parcels were selected for this exceptional wine. Balanced and appealing now, it will come into its own with twenty years of age, and show well at fifty. EB (2/14)
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2013 Vintage Notes:
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot
By late summer, a second drought year had pushed the vines to their limit with water stress. The resulting small berries reduced the crop, which ripened three weeks earlier than any in our fifty-year history. Fermented as whole berries, and pressed at eight days, the wines were transferred to barrel for natural malolactic. Nineteen of twenty-six lots—including only one of merlot—were selected for the 2013. This superb vintage shows Monte Bello’s mineral character and firm acidity. Complex secondary qualities will develop within fifteen years, and the wine will age beautifully for twenty more. EB (3/15)
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2014 Vintage Notes:
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Lack of winter rain affected both vines and cover crops, limiting available nutrients. Still, the vines carried a decent-size crop, which ripened in September. Fermentations progressed slowly; extraction was decided by careful tasting. Malolactics started in tank, and finished by February. Merlot, which suffered in 2013, was strong in 2014. Petit verdot remained challenged by drought. This elegant vintage shows intense fruit, limestone earth, and firm acid. It will be enjoyable over the next fifteen to thirty years.
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2015 Vintage Notes:
77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Organically Grown
A mild winter brought early bud-break. Unfortunately, cold temperatures returned and storms swept through during bloom reducing yields. Summer’s warmth hastened ripening for a September harvest. Grapes from twenty-four parcels fermented separately. Once barrel malolactics finished, we made our first selection in January. In April three wonderful lots were added at the second assemblage. This elegant vintage shows superb intensity. It will develop fully over the next thirty years.
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2016 Vintage Notes:
72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc
Organically Grown
Late winter rains brought some relief from another year of drought. Monte Bello’s fractured limestone held onto this moisture for the vines to draw on through a mild summer. Unusually cold nights slowed ripening and developed firm acidity, while gentle extraction during fermentation kept tannins in balance. Through careful blind-tasting twenty-three lots were assembled and spent eighteen months in barrel. This superb vintage will age beautifully over the next thirty years.
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2017 Vintage Notes:
73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc
Organically Grown
Heavy winter rains saturated Monte Bello’s fractured limestone sub-soil, replenishing the vines’ water resources. Warm summer days, with unusually cold nights, slowly ripened the crop for an October harvest. By early winter, as malolactics finished, the wines were blind-tasted for assemblage. The final blend was made in May. Showing beautiful fruit and serious complexity in its youth, it will develop greater secondary flavors over the next thirty years.