Skip to Store Area:

0 Items - £0.00 | Checkout

Ridge Monte Bello 2017

Ridge Monte Bello 2017

Availability: In stock

£165.49
Add to Basket


"Destined to rank as one of the all-time greats from Ridge, the 2017 Monte Bello opens in the glass with youthfully complex notes of ripe plums, cassis, espresso roast and black truffles, with little apparent trace of its time in 100% new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied and incredibly concentrated, with a rich, layered mid-palate and immense substance that marks it out as the most richly tannic Monte Bello since 2013. As ever, the acids are vibrant, with a classic pH of around 3.5—notably lower than most Cabernet Sauvignons from contemporary Bordeaux or Napa Valley, thanks to this site's limestone soils and high altitude. At the time of writing, the blend is 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, though that may change by the time it's bottled. Eric Baugher observes that fermentations were slow in 2017, which protracted the period of extraction, partially accounting for this vintage's power. It's still a baby, but this is a strong contender for a perfect score when it's bottled in over a year's time—and it should see out its 50th birthday in style. 98-100 points"

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (05/18)


This wine is being offered En Primeur with delivery due in autumn 2020. Purchasing in bond is possible.


In case you are not already familiar with Ridge's emblematic wines, the main production is red, focusing on Zinfandel. Way back in the early 1960s, they produced some of the first old-vine, single-vineyard Zinfandel to appear on the market: in fact, the philosophy of this estate owes a great deal to  European views of terroir and was, therefore, very forward-looking for California.

The contrast between Lytton Springs and Geyserville is marked and profound, especially considering that the vineyards are just one mile apart! Lytton is generally the more unyielding and tannic whereas Geyserville is succulent and approachable. This difference is down to terroir and the fact that Geyserville contains more Carignan in the blend, which contributes to the warm fruit quality. Lytton, on the other hand, although also predominantly Zinfandel, has a higher proportion of Petite Sirah. What is interesting too is the fact that Carignan does not flourish in the Lytton vineyard and never has done: the Geyserville vineyards, though further North, are warmer and this favours Carignan. The flagship wine, Monte Bello (produced from vines grown on the Monte Bello ridge (see above) - too cool for Zinfandel but perfect for the more architectural Bordeaux varieties) is a Bordeaux field blend with at least thirty parcels harvested and vinified separately before blending. 

Ridge's wines also epitomise the positive value of history, the importance of consistency and the constant search for improvement by the fine-tuning of the relationship between the art and science of winemaking. Paul Draper, the iconic CEO, has been making wine here since 1969 when he was invited to join by the four founders. Eric Baugher, who has a background in microbiology and biochemistry and who now oversees production, has been there since 1994. John Olney, who is responsible for Lytton Springs, joined in 1996 and David Gates, who is in charge of vineyard operations, in 1989. In January 1987, Ridge was sold to a Japanese pharmaceutical company, Otsuka, but, as Antonio Galloni said, the wines have gone from strength to strength and any change in financial control has not resulted in quality being compromised. On the contrary, these wines represent excellent value for money and we cannot recommend them highly enough.