Benchmark Wines by

Ridge Vineyards

The Winery

Ridge Vineyards

Resting high atop the Santa Cruz Mountains is the Monte Bello vineyard where exquisite wines have been engrained in the estate’s distinguished history. The 180 acres of land was formerly purchased by Dr. Osea Perrone in 1855. The winery and vineyards were left untouched during the years of Prohibition, and later purchased and planted to Cabernet in 1949 by William Short. Ten years later, the estate was sold to three engineers from the Stanford Research Institute from which they produced a tiny amount of wine from the vines planted by Short. The success of that wine and the vintages that followed inspired Dave Bennion and his partners to restore this winery, and Ridge Vineyards was born.

Paul Draper joined the team in 1969 and with his knowledge of fine wine and traditional methods, helped guide Ridge vineyards to craft wines of consistent quality and international recognition. The 1971 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon placed fifth at the 1976 Judgement of Paris. Among the prestigious awards Draper has earned, he is continuing to make rigorously classic and age worthy wines.

www.ridgewine.com

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Tasting Notes

V97
The 2012 is a racy, voluptuous Monte Bello built on a core of sweet red fruit, with striking perfume, silky tannins and fabulous overall balance. The 2012 is of course an infant, and the new oak is still evident. As Vinous readers know, Monte Bello is a wine that really should not be touched until its tenth birthday, and even that requires an optimistic view. The 2012 has been a consistently brilliant wine. Today, it is once again stellar. 97+
WS94
Beautifully structured, with firm acidity and tannins that show grip amid a core of dense currant and blackberry fruit, turning juicy. This is classic old-school Cabernet. Cellaring for five to seven years is the right approach. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2020 through 2035.

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