In 1886, high in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the first Monte Bello vineyards were planted, and winery construction begun. A first vintage from the young vines followed in 1892. During Prohibition (1920-1933), the vineyard was not fully maintained; some vines survived into the late 30’s, but by the 1940s they were effectively abandoned. Eight acres of cabernet sauvignon were replanted in 1949. These were the source of the first Ridge Monte Bello (1962) and subsequent vintages until 1974 when younger blocks replanted in the 1960’s were considered for inclusion. Since then, the historic vineyards on the ridge have gradually been replanted.
2017 Monte Bello, bottled June 2019:
Heavy winter rains saturated Monte Bello’s fractured limestone sub-soil, replenishing the vine’s water resources. Warm summer days, with unusually cold nights, slowly ripened the crop for an October harvest. By early winter, as malolactics finished, the wines were blind-tasted for assemblage. The final blend was made in May. Showing beautiful fruit and serious complexity in its youth, it will develop greater secondary flavors over the next thirty years.
- Fermentation: Grapes destemmed, 100% whole berry fermentation. Automated berry sorting. Fermented on the native yeasts. Pressed at nine days. Natural malolactic.
- Selection: Twenty-three Monte Bello parcels
- Barrels: 100% new air-dried oak; 95% American oak, 5% French oak.
- Aging: Seventeen months in barrel
- pH: 3.48
- TA: 7.42 g/L
- ** Only 1 in Stock **
Pure perfection, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello is a sensational effort from this estate that should be snatched up by drinkers and collectors. - Jeb Dunnuck 100 points
The 2017 Monte Bello continues to develop beautifully. [...] Layers of dark red/purplish fruit give the 2017 remarkable primary intensity, with hints of licorice, mocha, dried flowers and menthol that build over time, hinting at the wine's ultimate potential. - Vinous Media 97+ points