Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 2014, Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
PRESS: James Suckling - 98 Point. "Unique aromas of blackberry, black currant, dark chocolate and walnut. Full body, very powerful and tannic. Incredible depth and power. Precise and so focused. Muscular. Great structure. This needs at least six to eight years to come together."
William Kelley, The Wine Advocate - 97 Points.
Jeb Dunnuck - 97 Points.
Producer: Ridge Vineyards
Region/Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains
Country Hierarchy: San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California, USA
Grape/Blend: Bordeaux Blend Red (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot)
Wine Style: Red - Bold and Structured
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Lack of winter rain affected both vines and cover crops, limiting available nutrients. Still, the vines carried a decent-size crop, which ripened in September. Fermentations progressed slowly; extraction was decided by careful tasting. Malolactics started in tank, and finished by February. Merlot, which suffered in 2013, was strong in 2014. Petit verdot remained challenged by drought. This elegant vintage shows intense fruit, limestone earth, and firm acid. It will be enjoyable over the next fifteen to thirty years.