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New Customers Save $30* with code SEPTNEW30
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Ridge Monte Bello 2007
Blend: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
The nose just bursts with blueberries, currants, and flowers. Full bodied, with a round and velvety tannin structure. The palate explodes with currants, ripe strawberries, and black pepper on the finish. This is muscular and toned, structured and balanced. This is still young and needs a minimum of five years of bottle age. Winemaker Paul Draper says that perhaps this is as great as the legendary 1991.
Relatively fat for a Monte Bello, this wine show its richness in fruit rather than playing on weight gained from oak. The freshness of the fruit keeps it firm, finely balanced and clean, a more accessible young wine than this vineyard tends to give. There's a pure cassis flavor running through it, emphasizing the clairty of lovely, ripe cabernet. As approachable as it may be now, it's substantial enought to age for a decade or more.
A retaste of the flagship wine, the 2007 Monte Bello (a blend from this famous estate of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc) reveals a dense ruby/purple wine with a floral, blueberry, and earthy cassis nose and elegant mid-weight flavors with impressive purity and classicism. There is good acidity, firm tannin, and modest alcohol (13.1%). This is not the most concentrated or powerful Monte Bello, but one built on finesse and elegance. According to the back label, only 41% of the production made it into this wine from the 103-acre estate vineyard. Give this wine another good 5-7 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 20-25 years.
About as close to Bordeaux in California as you get, from the classic cigar box, cedar, tobacco leaf and dill scents to the tight band of mineral, dried currant, sage, cedar and sandelwood notes. Full-bodied, elegant and persistent, this is most interesting on the finish, where the flavors are long and lingering. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2014 through 2024.
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.
The Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without thinking of the other. Although Cabernet has many important outposts throughout the wine world, nowhere else has it achieved such success (and, at the highest end, commanded such lofty prices) than in Napa. Here, it is responsible for bold, opulent, and dark-fruited wines with grippy tannins and a healthy dose of alcohol. The best examples can age for decades. Each of Napa’s smaller sub-AVAs imparts a different character to Cabernet, such as Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.