Ridge Monte Bello 2005
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.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.