Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
(Santa Cruz Mountains, California) [JS 99, #45 Top 100 of '22] [VM 98] [WE 96+, #6 Top 100 of '22] [WS 95] [JD 95]
Regular price $254.00 Sale price $229.97 Save $24.03
Notes from the Winemaker:
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 twenty five to thirty years.
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.
82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
Vineyard: Monte Bello
Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains
Alcohol By Volume: 13.7%
Harvest Dates: 28 September – 20 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.4˚
TA: 7.80 g/L
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.
Ratings & Reviews
James Suckling: 99 Points & #45 Top 100 of 2022 "This is a very powerful Monte Bello with currants and blackberry, black licorice and smoked meat. Mint. Some sesame seed, too. It's full-bodied with incredible darkness and saltiness like volcanic salt. Umami. Grilled seaweed. Flavorful and captivating. It goes on for minutes."
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 by 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, espresso, sweet American oak, cedar and pipe tobacco leave a lasting impression. In a word: magnificent!” -Antonio Galloni (May 2022)
OwenBargreen.com: 97 Points “A masterpiece by the Ridge winemaking team, the 2019 ‘Monte Bello’ is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot with a splash of Cabernet Franc. Blending for this wine took place on February 5-6 as twenty-eight lots were blind tasted and scored prior to crafting the final blend. This really needs an hour or two in the decanter prior to enjoying, as it is very tightly-wound like most new release Monte Bellos. Once aroused this shows incredible nuance aromatically from wintergreen and dried herbs to cassis and creme de violette notes, with scorched earth undertones. The palate is very fresh and vibrant with a seamless texture and wonderful length. Try not to touch this beauty for at least two more years, as this has both the weight and finesse to cellar well past two decades. Drink 2024-2045.” -Owen Bargreen (June 2022)
Wine Enthusiast: 96 Points + Cellar Selection “Rich and smoky on the nose, this famed estate Cabernet Sauvignon is enhanced with 9% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc,. Aromas of roasted plum, mesquite, sandalwood and frankincense show on the nose. Impressively polished tannins consume the palate, where roasted berry, black plum and toasted coffee flavors linger long. Drink now–2039” -Matt Kettmann (September 2022)
Wine Spectator: 95 Points “This has a densely packed core of vivid red and black currant and mulberry fruit, which is encased for now in a mix of charcoal, cast iron, singed mesquite and apple wood. Shows terrific drive, though, and everything is in proportion, with an echo of violet hinting at some inner purity. This will just need time to unwind. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2024 through 2040.” -James Molesworth (September 2022)
JebDunnuck.com: 95 Points “The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello is a more Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, all hitting 13.7% alcohol. As usual, it was aged in new American oak. It shows the higher Cabernet component and is deep purple-hued and tight and closed, with a primordial vibe to its dark blue and black fruit, smoked tobacco, vanilla bean, graphite, and cedarwood aromatics. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has terrific overall balance, building, ripe tannins, a good sense of freshness, and outstanding length. It reminds me slightly of the 2018 with its more elegant, streamlined profile, but I expect this to build with bottle age, and it should have 2-3 decades of overall longevity.” -Jeb Dunnuck (August 2022)