Ridge Monte Bello: Magic from a Mountainside


Ridge Monte Bello: Magic from a Mountainside

Tom Baxter |
Ridge Vineyards and its flagship Monte Bello sit in a class of their own. This can be said due to their unwavering quality over six decades in production, but also thanks to a distinctive South Bay terroir that produces the most ambitious and most adored bottling.

Santa Cruz Mountains AVA isn’t the easiest place to make wine. The environs of the Monte Bello estate are treacherous, steep and with a winding approach that winemaker John Olney can only describe as ‘mystic’. Plantings are disparate and at most exceed 2,600 feet in elevation, but very poor, calcareous soils have long produced Bordeaux varieties at low yields that promise thrilling concentration.

Since the great Paul Draper was hired in 1969, Monte Bello has only cemented its position at the top of this prestigious estate and in the wider wine world. Cabernet invariably dominates, but MerlotPetit Verdot and Cabernet Franc round out the blend raised in a majority of American oak barrels. It is simply difficult to challenge these wines for ability to age, chalky tannic framework and outright class when you stack these against their price point.

Sotheby’s Wine is delighted to offer a wide range of vintages to enjoy. From the mid-90s through to this past decade, see how Monte Bello remains a soulful California classic.

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