Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 2005
Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Wine Style Guide
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.
Our estate vineyards high on Monte Bello Ridge are exposed to the Pacific Ocean, fifteen miles to the west. This gives us a climate as cool as Bordeaux, but also subjects us to the ocean's vicissitudes. Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc were added immediately, another Merlot and three Cabernets in May, some rich first-press wine in December. Seventeen months in new air-dried American oak—from both French and American coopers—has contributed spice and texture. This is a superb vintage. Beautifully balanced, it will continue to develop over the next several decades.
"Composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2005 Monte Bello should be one of the all-time greats made at this estate. It offers a dense purple color, an extraordinary bouquet of spring flowers, blueberries, creme de cassis, black fruits, and a hint of oak. It also has an unctuous texture. As with all rich wines, the oak component plays a complementary role in the wine’s nuances. A seamless integration of acidity, wood, tannin, and alcohol is found in this rich, elegant, pure, dense beauty. There is a certain accessibility to the 2005 that is unusual by Monte Bello’s standards, and it will age effortlessly for 25+a years.
The Wine Advocate
"The vines at Ridge's Monte Bello estate vineyard, at altitudes from
1,300 to 2,660 feet above the Pacific, consistently produce one of the greatest cabernet
sauvignons in California. In 2005, a cold, wet spring cut yields to one ton per acre, the
lowest level in ten years. The summer and fall ripened that small crop into something
extraordinary. That season highlighted the factors that distinguish this wine: the maturity of
the cabernet sauvignon vines, some that date to 1949; the limestone subsoils that sustain
the vines without irrigation; the native yeast fermentations and the skill of the blending team,
which selected half of the production for this final blend (in addition to 70 percent cabernet
sauvignon, it includes merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc). It tastes like tiny berries, an
authentic California wine, with the flavor of mountain-grown fruit very dark in color and not
a lot of them. The tannins have the intensity of wild blueberries, a soft power that's friendly
rather than austere. Its fresh, bright floral aspects combine seamlessly with the structure,
pointing up the wine's youthful beauty. The moderate alcohol (13.4 percent) is just one
more factor that predicts a long life ahead for this wine."
Wine & Spirits
"Deep ruby. Explosively perfumed nose offers a profound bouquet of ripe cherry, blackcurrant, yellow rose, Asian spices and vanilla bean; you could use this for incense. Deep and sweet but remarkably precise, offering powerful dark berry and kirsch flavors supported by substantial, velvety tannins. The fruit plows through the finish with superb energy, depth and clarity, fully absorbing the tannins. A big but wonderfully balanced example of Monte Bello, and sure to reward extended cellaring.
International Wine Cellar
"For more than three decades, Ridge Montebello Cabernets
have generated their fair share of excitement in the market. In more years than not
they challenge for top honors, and when the wine is good, as it is in this vintage, it
is very good indeed. This bottling begins with deep and yet very mannerly aromas
of cassis, pencil lead and violets and builds with complex, claret-like flavors that
combine poise and richness. So finely fit as to be almost seamless, it has the
balance and layering to invite a decade and more of cellaring."
Learn About Ridge Vineyards Map It
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...
Read More About Ridge Vineyards
Learn About Santa Cruz Mountains
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.
Even though the climate can be challenging, and only 1500...
Read More About Santa Cruz Mountains
Learn About Bordeaux Red Blends
Bordeaux Blends The Fab Five With so much history under its belt, it's no wonder that Bordeaux has figured out the recipe to produce amazing wines. Centuries of making (and drinking) wine led to the blend that has become synonomous with Bordeaux. Winemakers in the New World replicate this formula to create successful blends in their respective regions - you may see Bordeaux blends...
Read More About Bordeaux Red Blends