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.
Saturated purple in colour. Aromas of cassis, blueberry, cola, liquorice, and sweet oak. Ripe blackberry fruit entry, full bodied, rich textures, exotic spice and toasted oak. Complex, long, sensuous finish.
"True to the vineyard’s mountain site, up to 814m (2,670ft} in altitude, exposed to the cold Pacific, the wine has vivid cassis purity and a touch of green sage. 16 months in 58% new American oak may have rounded the edges of the wine, but none of that oak shows up in the wine’s flavour—exquisite structure and balance. Ridge’s Estate Cabernets come from old blocks in the Monte Bello Vineyard, but blocks that Paul Draper and John Olney feel tend to produce a wine that’s more accessible young than the blocks used for Ridge’s top wine, Monte Bello. Be that as it may, the Estate Cabernet blend comprised of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 1% Petite Verdot drinks like a sophisticated ageworthy wine." 96 points, (vintage 2019), Decanter.
"Such a real and focused cabernet with redcurrants, Spanish cedar, and mint. Medium to full body. Firm and fine tannins. Some redwood and spice, too. Chewy and juicy. Give it a year or two to soften." 94 points, (vintage 2019), James Suckling.
Ridge Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon