Ridge Monte Bello 2008
Limestone sub soils, cool climate, low yields, natural fermentations, and our undivided attention have produced fifty vintages of exceptionally long lived wines. The distinctive character of the world's great wines has always been determined by their site - by nature, not by man.
Blend: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2008 Monte Bello is in a gorgeous spot right now, as the aromatics are just starting to show the complex nuances that only develop in bottle. Worn-in leather, licorice, scorched earth, savory herbs and chocolate meld into a core of intense dark fruit. Slightly angular contours hint at a bit of rusticity. My impression is that the 2008 won’t be especially long-lived by Ridge standards, but it is a fine bottle to drink now, especially with a bit of time in the decanter.
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.