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Ridge Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello Vineyard, 2019


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Ridge's wines are some of the best the U.S. has to offer— year after year they produce elegant, age-worthy wines that rival the best in the world. It's no wonder that Ridge first came to prominence at the Judgement of Paris, with it's signature Monte Bello holding it's own against the best First Growth Bordeaux.

Ridge's Monte Bello location in the Santa Cruz Mountains was first planted to vine in the late 19th century (wine was being produced as early as 1892!) though thanks to Prohibition (everyone's favorite), the vineyards fell into disrepair. The property was purchased in 1940, and although a small amount of Cabernet was produced then,1962 was the first vintage crafted as we know Ridge today. In 1991, Ridge added the Lytton Springs property in Sonoma County to their estate.

The philosophy at Ridge is simple: they strive to make "pre-industrial" wines. What exactly is "pre-industrial" wine? Basically, they've been making natural wine since well before it became fashionable, much like many of the best estates in Europe. They let the grapes speak for themselves, intervening in the process only when necessary. At the end of the day, grapes are fruit, and Ridge aims to bring the distinct fruit flavors of their carefully grown grapes to their wines.

While Monte Bello is known as one of the best wines in the world, Ridge's other cuvees are just as good; it's a wonder that they're not all as expensive. To get wines of this quality at these prices is a rarity in today's market.

Professional Reviews

Antonio Galloni

AG 98
"The 2019 Monte Bello is a wild, exotic wine. Huge, soaring aromatics meld into a core of heady, exotically ripe fruit. Not a shy wine by any means, the 2019 is atypically opulent, and yet all of the classic Monte Bello structure is there, underneath all of that fruit. The 2019 needs time in bottle to shed its baby fat, but there is a lot to look forward to. I imagine it will always be a pretty exuberant wine. Inky red fruit, blood orange, espresso, sweet American oak, cedar and pipe tobacco leave a lasting impression. In a word: magnificent!" -Vinous

Jancis Robinson

JR 18
"Confected but not sickly black fruit. Wonderful smoke, chocolate and earth character on the palate – this really stands apart from their other wines. There's delicious mintiness that lingers on the palate, as well as sophisticated oak spice. So finely tuned, and so gratifying to drink now, although it will age well. Absolutely gorgeous – and proudly California in profile."


D 98
"Opens with soaring red raspberry and vivid cassis flavours. Even more precise and pure-tasting than its brother, the Estate Cabernet, Monte Bello has exquisite choreography and building on the palate. Still terribly young, has an immense structure. With time, its finish will no doubt lengthen if one can endure the agony of waiting. This is the wine that has established Ridge as a California 'First Growth'. Because of the vineyard’s cool mountain site exposed to the Pacific, Monte Bello always has a dramatic freshness—drinking it, you feel as though you’re in the mountains yourself. The first Monte Bello vines were planted in 1886, but the vineyard fell into near ruin during and post-Prohibition. A mere 3.25ha (eight acres) were replanted in 1949 and were the source of the first Monte Bello in 1962. Since then, other historic blocks have also been replanted. The 2019 is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc."

Wine Spectator

WS 95
"This has a densely packed core of vivid red and black currant and mulberry fruit, which is encased for now in a mix of charcoal, cast iron, singed mesquite and apple wood. Shows terrific drive, though, and everything is in proportion, with an echo of violet hinting at some inner purity. This will just need time to unwind. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc."

Wine Enthusiast

WE 96
"Rich and smoky on the nose, this famed estate Cabernet Sauvignon is enhanced with 9% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc,. Aromas of roasted plum, mesquite, sandalwood and frankincense show on the nose. Impressively polished tannins consume the palate, where roasted berry, black plum and toasted coffee flavors linger long."


  • Grape Variety

    Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Farming Practice


  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Full Bodied

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