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, there is nothing that compares in their portfolio or perhaps any other domestic bottling to the Monte Bello. It is never anything less than stunning.
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. America’s best Bordeaux blend checks in at a staggering 99 points – not surprising when you consider the sheer elegance and brilliance of this bottling.
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99 Points, James Suckling
This is a very powerful Monte Bello with currants and blackberry, black licorice and smoked meat. Mint. Some sesame seed, too. It’s full-bodied with incredible darkness and saltiness like volcanic salt. Umami. Grilled seaweed. Flavorful and captivating. It goes on for minutes.
96 Points (Cellar Selection), Wine Enthusiast
Rich and smoky on the nose, this famed estate Cabernet Sauvignon is enhanced with 9% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc,. Aromas of roasted plum, mesquite, sandalwood and frankincense show on the nose. Impressively polished tannins consume the palate, where roasted berry, black plum and toasted coffee flavors linger long. Drink now–2039.
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