• ST: 80

    Stephen Tanzer Score

    92(+?)

    Close
+ Add Critic Score

Submit a Critic Score

Score:

Name of Critic:

Close

Ridge Red Bordeaux Blend Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello 1999

Winemaker's Notes:

99 | USA | California

Ridge Vineyards:
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name... Read more
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge's production facility. At 2600', it is surrounded by the "upper vineyard." In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines — now the "middle vineyard"— new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of "estate" cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California's finest wines of the era. Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and '61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel. The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres. Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity. By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership. A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile's coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist. His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward "hands off" approach pioneered at Ridge. Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established. Cabernet and zinfandel account for most of the production; syrah, grenache, carignane, and petite sirah constitute a small percentage. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962. Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991. A quarter century's experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground. Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit's distinctive character and richness into the wine. Read less

Member Reviews for Ridge Red Bordeaux Blend Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello

Add your review
Snooth User: ryanopaz
278311,619
0.00 5
08/08/2007

Deep black current nose with overtones of chocolate and coffee. This puppy needs a bit of air. In the mouth right away fine but very firm tannins with a medium acidity. After a couple of hours this wines nose remained dark fruit filled and intriguing. Black-raspberry jam, black cherries, and strong notes of cassias. Tannins never really left this wine and continued to provide a nice firm structure to hang the fruit on. Great roundness in the mouth and finish which lasted for a good minute afterwards, went a long ways to making the bottle last. Real treat. 4/5 [NR]


Snooth User: gabriellaopaz
40433236
0.00 5
02/23/2007

Deep, clear maroon color that speaks of its earthy and sexy nature. The nose is filled with pepper, dark forest berries, coffee and a slight bitter sweetness at the end that is incredibly inviting. On the palate, although I find it much more subtle than the nose, I am still star struck by not only its structure and balance, but also the mineral, blackberry and chocolate notes that peek out every so slightly. For me, an amazing and fun wine! 4.5


Snooth User: Gastro1
21574712
5.00 5
07/15/2009

My favourite American Cab Sav blend competes with the great Bordeaux and Paul Draper is a genius


Snooth User: leachus
6915322
5.00 5
07/08/2008

Five glasses


External Reviews for Ridge Red Bordeaux Blend Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello

External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
01/16/2009

Bright ruby-red. Vibrant aromas of boysenberry, iron and mocha. Dense but tightly wound and not overly sweet; has a silky texture despite possessing a strong acid spine. Finishes with palate-cleansing acids and a late spicy character. This very young... Stephen Tanzer. A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 1999 Ridge Monte Bello 750ml


External Review
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

Full ruby-red. Knockout nose offers blackberry, currant, plum, cedar, minerals and dark chocolate. Fresh, succulent and quite firm in the mouth, with brisk acids and a minty nuance lifting the dark berry and chocolate flavors. Finishes with chewy tannins that come across as a bit less harmonious than those of the young 2004. But this youthfully closed wine grew sweeter with aeration.


External Review
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
09/27/2011

The elegant structure of Monte Bello cabernet comes through in the 2003 bottling, built on mineral tannins, from vines grown in limestone. The fruit is completely black (it hints at blueberry as it takes on air), but the wine is not hyperripe. Structure supports it and lengthens the flavors; the lasting impression is clean and refreshing, which is something you can't say about most Napa Valley cabernets from '03.


External Review
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

Extraordinarily fat, ripe, flamboyant, scads of Cabernet quality. Oodles of black currants, also smoky oak and vanilla. Ripe, fruity, forward, almost jammy. Big time tannins. Drinkable now, but really needs many years; hold until 2012.


External Review
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

Saturated ruby color. Brooding aromas of cassis, bitter chocolate, peat and cigar box. huge, sweet and mouthfilling but as unevolved as a barrel sample. Impressively intense cassis and blueberry flavors boast great verve. Thoroughly suave tannins coat the palate with a fine layer of dust. Juicy and extremely long. An infant that should prove to be very long-lived; likely to merit a score in the mid-90s.


External Review
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

The dense ruby-hued 2003 Monte Bello offers a tight but promising nose of tar, briery creme de cassis, toast, and smoke. Medium to full-bodied, with abundant tannin, a rich texture, and a deep, persistent style, this youthful, primary red is best forgotten until 2010. It should drink well over the following 15-20 years. This impressive wine is unlikely to win many blind tastings given its current austerity.


External Review
Source: Prestige Wine & Spirits
05/19/2011

Powerful and massive, with tons of sweetly delicious blackberry, cherry and mocha fruit combined with oak, smoke and vanilla. Wonderfully rich, ripe tannins and firm, bolstering acidity. Fabulous young wine. Drinkable now if you must but just beginning its voyage of decades.


1 2 3 4


All Prices

Shipping to:

99 | USA | California

Top Santa Cruz Mou. Lists


Best Wine Deals

See More Deals






Snooth Media Network