Ridge Monte Bello 1991

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750ML / 13.1% ABV
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750ML / 13.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Welcome spring rains set back the growing season by several weeks, but replenished the water in our soils. The crop was abundant, and a long, warm October fully ripened all the fruit. We made a rigorous fiftypercent selection, producing a complex, elegant wine with deep color and round tannins. Though approachable now, five years of bottle age will integrate the fruit and spicy oak; another ten to fifteen years will bring full maturity.

Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Saturated ruby-black in hue, the 1991 Monte Bello is still a young wine, only entering its youthful plateau of maturity. Offering up a decadently jammy bouquet of ripe blackberries, crème de cassis, acacia flowers and creamy American oak, the wine is expansive and full-bodied on the palate, simultaneously open-knit but densely concentrated, with a decidedly voluptuous, textural profile. Supple and comparatively low in acidity and tannin (a perception Baugher tells me is confirmed by chemical analysis), this is a Monte Bello characterized more by exuberant generosity and drama than complexity. Interestingly, the 1991 is also more obviously marked by its time in new American oak than either the 1990 or 1992. The product of a warm September and October, the 1991 is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot that attained 13.1% natural alcohol.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Complex and inviting red from California with a pleasant range of currant, vanilla and herb flavors that fold together nicely, finishing with depth, richness and concentration.
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Ridge

Ridge

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Ridge, California
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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.

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.

CALRDGMB_1991 Item# 26953

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