Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Santa Cruz Mountains    California   
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Date Printed: 7/10/2014
Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
(search item no. 88496)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 7/10/2014: $119.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 99 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
1996 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1994 International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
1993 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
1992 The Wine Advocate rating: 97 points
1991 International Wine Cellar rating: 97 points
1990 Wine Spectator rating: 97 points

Winemaker's Notes:

If there ever was a First Growth in California, this would be it. Probably the greatest Cabernet made in America, with the track record to prove it.

The Monte Bello estate vineyard was planted, and the winery constructed, in 1886. A first vintage from the young vines followed in 1892. During Prohibition (1920-1933), the vineyard was not fully maintained; by the 1940s it was effectively abandoned. Eight acres of cabernet sauvignon were replanted in 1949. These were the source of the first Ridge Monte Bello (1962). Since then, the original vineyards have gradually been replanted.

91-94 ST, 94 WA

My Notes:

Additional wines from Ridge Vineyards:

About Ridge Vineyards:

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.