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2001 Ridge Monte Bello

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2001 Ridge Monte Bello

Single Bottle - Magnum - 1.5 Liters

Starting bid HK$7,880.00
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Tasting Notes:

Gorgeous. Dense, rich and concentrated, with a tight core of blackberry and wild berry with floral and berry jam touches. Tight yet expressive, softening ever so slightly and ending with a persistent push of mineral and berry. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.—2001 California Cabernet blind retrospective (June 2011). Drink now through 2022. 3,000 cases made.

Tasting Notes:

A resoundingly great effort from this iconic producer, Ridge’s 2001 is a spectacular, still young but promising wine. Interestingly, 60% of the production from the winery’s 108 acre Monte Bello Vineyard made it into the 2001’s final blend (their 40th anniversary, by the way). The unusual blend is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, a whopping 36% Merlot, and 8% Petit Verdot. It also carries 14.2% alcohol, which is high for this estate. On the back label, the conservative Paul Draper writes that “5-8 years of bottle age will bring generous rewards, and 20 years will bring full maturity.” At age 10, it is still an infant in terms of development, and I would not be surprised to see this 2001 last 40 years. A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by extravagant, generous aromas of pen ink, lead pencil shavings, spice box and black fruits. The wine is full-bodied and silky textured, but secondary nuances have not yet begun to develop as it is still very primary, tasting more like a 3-4 year old Monte Bello than one that is ten years of age. Nevertheless, it reveals spectacular concentration, a voluptuous texture, a rare opulence for a Ridge Monte Bello, and an incredible finish. The upside is enormous and this cuvee may prove somewhat atypical due to the huge percentage of Merlot in the final blend and the higher than normal alcohol. But make no mistake about this Monte Bello – it is a great wine. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040.

description Producer information Professional reviews

Ridge Vineyards is a California winery specializing in premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay wines. Ridge produces wine at two winery locations in northern California. The original winery facilities are located at an elevation of 2,300 feet (700 m) on Monte Bello Ridge in unincorporated Santa Clara County in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, south of Los Altos, California and west of Cupertino, California. The other Ridge winery facilities are at Lytton Springs in the Dry Creek Valley AVA of Sonoma County. Ridge Vineyard's 1971 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon achieved international fame for its fifth-place finish in the 1976 "Judgement of Paris" wine tasting. Although Ridge Vineyards was founded in the early 1960s, wine production at the winery's Monte Bello location has a much longer history. Grapevines were first planted on Monte Bello Ridge by Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of the northern California Italian immigrant community, in 1885. The first Monte Bello wine was produced in 1892. Following Prohibition, the vineyard at Monte Bello passed through the hands of several amateur winemakers until it was purchased in 1959 by David Bennion, Charles Rosen, Hewitt Crane, and Howard Zeidler, all engineers at nearby Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Ridge Vineyards was bonded and produced its first commercial wine, a Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon, in 1962. According to a 1987 New York Times article, Ridge Vineyards was acquired by a Japanese company. "The new owner is Otsuka U.S., a subsidiary of the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, a producer of nutritional drinks and other pharmaceutical products. Otsuka operates an experimental wine-making center near Fuji, in Japan." Ridge has been under the direction of winemaker Paul Draper since 1969, when he was hired by David Bennion, and has emphasized natural, ecologically sustainable farming and fermentation. Draper is known for drying his own oak staves for use in barrels, which may be a component of the dusty "Draper Perfume" that is characteristic of Ridge wines. The international reputation of the Monte Bello wine produced by Ridge Vineyards was established when it achieved fifth place in the "Judgment of Paris", against nine other French and California wines. Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon was acclaimed in subsequent competitions, including The Judgment of Paris 30th Anniversary, the 30th anniversary retesting of the same red wines evaluated in the 1976 Paris wine competition. In this blind tasting, held both in the US and the UK, judges in both countries ranked Ridge Monte Bello number one among all the wines judged. Ridge Vineyards produced its first Zinfandel in 1964. Beginning in 1966, the winery began sourcing some grapes for its Geyserville Zinfandel and other wines from vineyards in Sonoma County. In 1991, Ridge Vineyards purchased the Lytton Springs vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley AVA. The winery produces wine at both the Monte Bello and Lytton Springs locations, and operates tasting rooms open to the public at both. On June 25th, 2014, The Daily Meal named Ridge Vineyards the best winery in America. Ridge also focuses on single-estate wines where the grapes for a particular label are all grown at the same vineyard. The signature wine of Ridge is its Monte Bello, a field blend of Cabernet Sauvignon mixed with varying percentages of other grapes grown in the same location, usually including Merlot, Petit Verdot, and occasionally Cabernet Franc. Ridge's Zinfandels (or mostly-Zinfandel field blends) constitute the bulk of the winery's production. Using grapes from selected sites from all over the state and bottling them each under their own label, Ridge Zinfandels emphasize the particular characteristics of each growing site and may show different aging characteristics than do other Zinfandels. Among the best known of the Ridge Zinfandels or Zinfandel-blends are those from Geyserville, York Creek, and Lytton Springs.