An Iconic California Cabernet Blend

Ridge Vineyards, Monte Bello
By Victor Rabot | January 29, 2019
Over the past few months I have tasted numerous vintages of this iconic Californian cabernet blend and just recently enjoyed the 2014 vintage with a group of wine lovers. We were hugely impressed by the quality and balance of the wine which showed both old world and new world styles. It highlighted to me just how good this wine is: a combination of power, delicacy and a marvellous ability to age. And, vastly different from the cabernet blends of Napa Valley further north. Here are few reasons why:

- Located high atop the Santa Cruz Mountains (between 400 and 800m above the sea)

- A cool micro-climate, being only 25km from the sea, which make it California's coolest cabernet producing area

- Very low yield, with only about 3000 cases produced

- Unique soil with a strong limestone content which is not found in Napa and Sonoma Valley

A combination of these facts in addition to the watchful but hands-off approach of legendary winemaker and one of the most respected figures in the industry, Paul Draper (now retired), make this winery one of the most revered in all of California.

We just received the acclaimed new release from the 2015 vintage. In a challenging vintage for the region, the team at Ridge managed to triumph with a classically styled Monte Bello that drinks well already and will age gracefully over the next decade at least.