Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 2011




A long winter delayed the growing season. Summer temperatures remained cool as persistent fog covered much of Northern California. Monte Bello, whose elevation kept the grapes in full sun, was an exception. Following an October rain, two weeks of warm weather ripened the fruit for harvest before the next storm. Extraction of color and tannin required extended pump-overs. At first assemblage in February, seventeen of twenty-four parcels were selected. In May, two cabernets were added, and in late fall, a rich press wine. This exceptional example of the 2011 vintage is classic Monte Bello. Beautifully balanced now, it will continue to evolve over the next thirty years.
Category Red Wine
Country California
Region Central Coast
Appellation Santa Cruz Mountains
Brand Ridge Vineyards
Alcohol/vol 12.8%
  • wa93-95

Wine AdvocateThe 2011 Monte Bello (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc) emerges from the glass with tobacco, grilled herbs, smoke, incense and plums melding together in this soft, beautifully textured Monte Bello. The 2011 is a wine of exceptional textural finesse. The 100% new oak is totally integrated. In 2011, Ridge used a total of 18 of a possible 24 lots for the final blend. The presence of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon is the highest since the 1980s. I expect the 2011 to be a relatively early drinking Monte Bello, but time will be the judge. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2031.

Antonio Galloni, August 2012
  • ws89

Wine SpectatorAromatically alluring, this presents a trim mix of cedar, dried herb and berry notes, with loamy earth and rocky scents, before ending with firm, gritty tannins. A true-to-form Monte Bello from a mild year. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2023. 4,000 cases made.

James Laube, October 31, 2014