Composition: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc Aromas of cassis, blueberry, cola, licorice, and sweet oak. Ripe black fruit entry, full bodied, rich textures, exotic spice and toasted oak.
In 1886 the first blocks of the Monte Bello vineyard were planted and construction on the winery begun. The first vintage was the 1892. In the early 1940s, the last of the old vineyard was abandoned; in the late forties a few blocks were replanted. Those cabernet vines—now over sixty-five years old—produced the first Ridge Monte Bello (1962) and subsequent vintages until 1974. By then other abandoned blocks had been replanted and their fruit considered for use in the Monte Bello. A number of those consistently produced a more accessible wine that developed its full complexity earlier and these were combined as the “Santa Cruz Mountains.” With the 2008 vintage the name of this stylistically distinct wine became the Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, stressing the principal varietal and the Monte Bello estate vineyard as its source.
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed, and sorted; 100% whole berries fermented on the native yeasts. Pressed at five days. Natural malolactic initiated in tank, finished in barrel with additional 12 weeks of lees contact. Selection: Nineteen of twenty estate parcels. Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels; (35% new, 20% one year old, 45% two years old). Aging: Seventeen months in barre