Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 2005

$150.00

SKU C0384

750ml

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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. In 2005, late rains and cold winds cut yields to a ton an acre, the lowest in ten years. Warm summer days and atypically warm nights brought ripening back on schedule, and a warm October fully ripened each of the thirty-six parcels between October 4 and November 1. Clusters and berries were small, color and tannin abundant. Pressed at eight days on average, forty percent of the wine went through natural malolactic in barrel, the rest in small fermentors. Assemblage began in February. After several weeks of blind tasting, we made a barrel each of three different blends. By March, it was easier to determine the finest. 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.
Category Red Wine
Varietals
Country California
Region Central Coast
Appellation Santa Cruz Mountains
Brand Ridge Vineyards
Alcohol/vol 13.4%
  • wa97

Wine AdvocateComposed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2005 Monte Bello should be one of the all-time greats made at this estate. It offers a dense purple color, an extraordinary bouquet of spring flowers, blueberries, creme de cassis, black fruits, and a hint of oak. It also has an unctuous texture. As with all rich wines, the oak component plays a complementary role in the wine's nuances. A seamless integration of acidity, wood, tannin, and alcohol is found in this rich, elegant, pure, dense beauty. There is a certain accessibility to the 2005 that is unusual by Monte Bello's standards, and it will age effortlessly for 25+a years. (97+)

Robert Parker, February 2010
  • ws88

Wine SpectatorBordeaux-like in its structure and flavor profile. Tightly wound, firm and compact, with dried currant, sage, mineral and hints of cedar and leather, fanning out on the finish, where the flavors are juicy. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2012 through 2019. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.

James Laube, November 15, 2008