A Cabernet Blend From the Mountains

By Vivian Liang | August 8, 2018

The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA Appellation was among the first in America to be defined by its mountain topography and is California’s coolest Cabernet producing area. Ridge’s iconic Monte Bello vineyard sits on top of the Santa Cruz Mountains, one of the rare areas in California to contain a good amount of limestone subsoil. Intense sunlight, high elevation, cool climate and the distinctive soil types all contribute to its single-vineyard wines complexity, great structure and charming elegance.

Ridge’s Monte Bello dates back to 1959. Their legendary winemaker and one of the most respected figures in the industry, Paul Draper, joined Ridge in 1969 (though now retired). Under his leadership, Ridge Monte Bello soon made its way into the top Cabernet blend of the world. Over the years, I have had my fair share of Monte Bello and its consistency and outstanding quality never fails to impress me over each glass. I love the intensity and concentration of the 1995, the playfulness of the 2000, the vibrancy and juiciness of the 2010 (which comes in a handy half bottle) and the richness and balances of 2014, which will no doubt age gracefully.