March 30th 2015
Ridge’s iconic Monte Bello Proprietary Red is one of the candidates for the longest-lived Bordeaux blends made in California. Our Californian expert Georgina Crawley introduces this celebrated estate and their new releases:
Since 1969, Paul Draper really has worked his magic, and his reputation as one of America’s most important and respected winemakers is well deserved. He and Ridge stunned the world by beating some of Bordeaux’s grandest names in a blind tasting in Paris in 1976, the panel – all European wine experts! This should tell you his wines have beauty, elegance and poise; something Paul gives to the wines using old world methods, whilst maturing in America oak.
Monte Bello’s style is a reflection of the vineyard. The site is cool for Cabernet Sauvignon and high; about 15 miles from the Pacific and at elevations of1400-2700 feet. Cool nights help the grapes retain their acidity, flavours are concentrated because the yields are naturally low; its power isn’t based on big ripeness and alcohol.
Yes, you can feel the warmth of the California sun, which wakes up the Cabernet rich blend, evoking a heady scented nose. The palate has a silky rich splendour, fine tannins and sweet, cool, elegant fruit. It could easily be compared in quality to any First Growth Claret and will be beguiling when you open it.
Paul and his team also make some of the most elegant styles of Zinfandel you will taste; again these can be enjoyed in their infancy, or grow in beauty with age.
We are delighted to offer the following release of Ridge Monte Bello 2014 and their equally impressive Zinfandels: Lytton Springs and Geyserville 2013. We also have a tiny amount of the Chardonnay to offer too. Please note all wines will be shipped during Summer 2015, except the Monte Bello, which will be shipped in Summer 2017.
Ridge Monte Bello 2014
£498.00 per 6 bottle case In Bond
£503.00 per 3 magnum case In Bond
“Having selected seventeen lots, we concluded the first assemblage. That was then tasted blind-mixed in a flight that included five Monte Bello vintages, 2009 through 2013. The comparison was astonishing: this very young wine showed such elegance, and yet had a wonderfully defined structure for long-term aging. The blend now stands at 69% cabernet sauvignon, 23% merlot, 6% cabernet franc, and 2% petit verdot. Additional cabernet lots will be tasted in late April at second assemblage. If their addition makes for a Monte Bello of greater quality and complexity, we may just include them.” Paul Draper / Eric Baugher (February 2015) of Ridge Monte Bello Vineyards
£250.00 per 12 bottle case In Bond
£260.00 per 6 magnum case In Bond
“Ridge’s 2013 Zinfandel Geyserville is deep, rich and explosive. A much darker wine than the 2012, the 2013 hits the palate with masses of dark red/black fruit followed by iron, smoke and savory herbs. The intensity of fruit nearly covers the tannins that lurk beneath. There is lot to look forward to in this highly promising, engaging Geyserville. The blend is 73% Zinfandel, 17% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, 1% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mataro (Mourvèdre).” Antonio Galloni 92-94 Drink 2016-2033
Lytton Springs 2013
£250.00 per 12 bottle case In Bond
£268.00 per 6 magnum case In Bond
“Rich and enveloping, the 2013 Lytton Springs is laced with dark red stone fruits, pomegranate, spice and dried flowers. Even with all of its density, the 2013 is raw and not fully formed. I will not be at all surprised to see it show even better in another year. The 2013 is 69% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane and 3% Mataro (Mourvèdre).” Antonio Galloni 90-92+ Drink 2018-2033
Monte Bello Chardonnay 2012
£448.00 per 12 bottle case In Bond
“The 2012 Chardonnay Estate is utterly impeccable. Lemon, white, flowers, spices, yellow stone fruits, smoke and slate open up nicely in the glass. Readers can look forward to at least a handful of years of fabulous drinking in this resonant, beautifully layered Chardonnay from Ridge. The Estate spent a total of 15 months in American oak, on the longer side by California standards.” Antonio Galloni 92 – Drink 2014-2022