Ridge "Monte Bello" Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 [1.5L]
(Santa Cruz Mountains, California) - [JD 100] [RP 98-100] [VM 97+] [WS 96, #77 Top 100 of 2020]
Regular price $750.00 Sale price $462.99 Save $287.01
Notes from the Winemaker:
Heavy winter rains saturated Monte Bello’s fractured limestone sub-soil, replenishing the vine’s 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.
All estate grown Monte Bello Vineyard grapes, organically farmed, hand-harvested, destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.10 g/L calcium carbonate added to moderate the high natural acidity in two of the twenty-nine fermenters; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur 35ppm at crush, 92ppm during aging; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Opaque purple-ruby color. Ripe blackberry fruit, barrel spice, anise, violets, and crushed limestone. Opulent mountain fruits on entry, fennel, sweet oak, well-structured tannins, and firm acid. Powerful complexity and tremendous length to the finish. EB (1/18)
73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc
Harvest Dates: 21 September 24 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.9
Selection: Twenty-three Monte Bello parcels
TA: 7.42 g/L
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed, 100% whole berry fermentation. Automated berry sorting. Fermented on the native yeasts. Pressed at nine days. Natural malolactic.
Barrels: 100% new air-dried oak; 95% American, 5% French
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel
Ratings & Reviews
100 Points - Jeb Dunnuck:
"Pure perfection, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello is a sensational effort from this estate that should be snatched up by drinkers and collectors. Based on 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that was brought up mostly in new American oak, this saturated purple-hued beauty is legendary Monte Bello in the making and has a stunning yet primordial bouquet of crÃƒÂ¨me de cassis, lead pencil shavings, graphite, chocolate, and chalky minerality. Full-bodied, incredibly powerful, and one of the most concentrated versions of this cuvÃƒÂ©e ever made (I've had most of them), it needs a solid decade of bottle age and will have 50-60 years of overall longevity. Despite the long drinking window, it offers plenty of pleasure even today. I followed this bottle for two days and it showed best right out of the gate, closing down and becoming more brooding and backward with air. It's an incredible wine that I promise you won't regret having in your cellar." - Jeb Dunnuck (8/29/2020)
98-100 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"Destined to rank as one of the all-time greats from Ridge, the 2017 Monte Bello opens in the glass with youthfully complex notes of ripe plums, cassis, espresso roast and black truffles, with little apparent trace of its time in 100% new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied and incredibly concentrated, with a rich, layered mid-palate and immense substance that marks it out as the most richly tannic Monte Bello since 2013. As ever, the acids are vibrant, with a classic pH of around 3.5Ã¢â‚¬â€notably lower than most Cabernet Sauvignons from contemporary Bordeaux or Napa Valley, thanks to this site's limestone soils and high altitude. At the time of writing, the blend is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, though that may change by the time it's bottled. Eric Baugher observes that fermentations were slow in 2017, which protracted the period of extraction, partially accounting for this vintage's power. It's still a baby, but this is a strong contender for a perfect score when it's bottled in over a year's timeÃ¢â‚¬â€and it should see out its 50th birthday in style." - William Kelley (May 2018)
97+ Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2017 Monte Bello continues to develop beautifully. A heady, opulent wine, the 2017 also has tons of supporting structure to balance things out. Layers of dark red/purplish fruit give the 2017 remarkable primary intensity, with hints of licorice, mocha, dried flowers and menthol that build over time, hinting at the wine's ultimate potential. Sensual and exotic, but with plenty of tannic clout, the 2017 has a very bright future. Today, it is decidedly explosive. In 2017, the berries were small, and that high skin-to-juice ratio yielded a Monte Bello that is quite imposing in the early going. " - Antonio Galloni (Sep 2020)
96 Points & #77 Top 100 of 2020 - Wine Spectator Magazine:
Distinctive, with vibrant flavors of violet, juniper and anise out front, backed by a core of intense dark currant, plum and cherry fruit. Firmly grounded, showing serious cut and drive through the bay leafÃ¢â‚¬â€œ and sage-accented finish, which sports ample toast alongside the fruit and floral elements. A chiseled, ripped Cabernet for the cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2040. 3,750 cases made." - JM (44150)