The Monte Bello vineyard was first planted when the winery was built, in 1886. In the early 1940s, the last of the old vineyard was abandoned; in the late forties a few blocks were replanted. Those cabernet vines - now sixty years old - produced the first Ridge Monte Bello in 1962, and subsequent vintages until the mid-seventies. By then, blocks replanted during the sixties were maturing, and their fruit considered for use in the Monte Bello. A number of those consistently produced a softer, more accessible wine and were combined as the stylistically distinct Santa Cruz Mountains Estate.
Mountain bramble fruit aroma, red currant, cardamom, vanilla bean, licorice, toasty oak. Velvety, fruit-coated tannins. Balanced, resolved structure. Drinkable now.
"A blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, the 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate exhibits a similar deep ruby/purple color as well as less complex aromatics, an attractive, round, rich, full-bodied mouthfeel, sweet tannin, and a long finish. This successful 2006 should drink well for 15 years."
The Wine Advocate