Ridge Monte Bello Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Complex fruit, mineral notes from the limestone sub-soil, and firm acidity set a classic style. The 2008 will develop more fully over the next eight to ten years.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Chardonnay Monte Bello emerges from the glass with layers of rich, varietal fruit supported by firm minerality and just a touch of French oak. The Monte Bello spends an additional three months in neutral oak and therefore also sees more stirring of the lees, yet it remains fresh, vibrant and beautifully focused all the way through to the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "It may sound hard to believe, but the 2008 Chardonnay Monte Bello is still remarkably young. With time in bottle the wine has begun to acquire weight and more tropical notes that have taken on greater expression in bottle. Ripe pear, pineapple, honey and chamomile give the 2008 much of its exotic, weighty personality. This broad, structured Chardonnay has enough depth and freshness to drink well for another decade. Winemaker Eric Baugher opened the 2008 next to the 2013 because he views the vintages as similar. Two thousand eight was the middle year in the previous drought cycle. "
Wine Spectator - "Offers a full-bodied mix of ripe fig, honeydew melon, spice and dried apricot flavors, taking on a slight honeyed note and expanding on the finish, yet retaining a pleasant measure of restraint and finesse. Drink now through 2018."
Wine & Spirits - "Ridge grows compelling chardonnay on their limestone-rich mountaintop above the Pacific. In this vintage, the texture is as smooth as river pebbles, the wine rolling from potent almond to velvet-fleshed apple flavors. It balances freshness, buttery richness and ripe sweetness in a firm, golden mouthful of fruit."
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Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He planted vineyards and constructed a winery of redwood and native limestone in time to produce the first vintage of Monte Bello in 1892. The historic building now serves as the Ridge production facility.
Though Ridge began as a Cabernet winery, by the mid-60s it had produced several Zinfandels including the Geyserville. In 1972, Lytton Springs joined the line-up and the two came to represent an important part of Ridge production. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of Chardonnay since 1962.
The Ridge approach is straightforward: find the most intense and flavorful grapes, guide the natural process, draw all the fruit's richness into the wine. Decisions on when to pick, when to press, when to rack, what varietals and what parcels to include and when to bottle, are based on taste. To retain the nuances that increase complexity, Ridge winemakers handle the grapes and wine as gently as possible. There are no recipes, only attention and sensitivity. View all Ridge Wines
About Santa Cruz MountainsView a map of Santa Cruz Mountains wineries
The Santa Cruz Mountain appellation encompasses the land between Half Moon Bay in the north and Mount Madonna (just near Monterey) in the south. Producing wine since the early 1800's, some of these wineries have been around for quite some time, mingling their vineyard lands with the sprawling redwood forests.
Notable FactsEven though the climate can be challenging, and only 1500 acres are under vine, over 50 wineries still operate successfully – and produce successful wine. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay do well in this region, along with a few plots of Cabernet Sauvignon. Hills, valleys and forests generate multiple micro-climates, creating a diverse flavor among the wines.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country unto itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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