Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2019


In stock
Santa Cruz Mountains, United States
96 points




Monte Bello is first and foremost a wine of place. That place – high atop the Santa Cruz Mountains underlain by decomposing limestone and Franciscan rock – produces a wine unlike any other. It is our belief that this vineyard with its very low-yielding vines (less than two tons per acre) is capable of creating a wine of great significance, depth, complexity and aging potential – but only if we take care in sustaining it. Our vineyard practices, therefore, do not intervene; rather they use and preserve the existing eco-system through techniques such as sowing cover crops and utilizing integrated pest management to nurture and protect the vines. We do not add anything to the vineyard that is not natural. We are currently pursuing organic certification for Monte Bello.

The Monte Bello vineyard, located only 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean, is part of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, California’s coolest cabernet producing area. It is our practice to let this unique vineyard site create the wine rather than try to steer it toward a particular style in the cellar. We accomplish this through a combination of natural, low-tech, hands-off winemaking techniques: keeping all grape varieties and all parcels separate, fermenting in small fermentors using only natural yeasts, and transferring the separate lots into air-dried American oak barrels to undergo full, natural malolactic fermentation. At many points along the way, we taste each lot and assess its individual qualities. This selection process is crucial to creating Monte Bello, a wine that consistently reflects the character of the vineyard and not the whim of the winemaker.

Monte Bello has often been called America’s First Growth, as it is the finest domestic example of a classic Bordeaux blend in which cabernet sauvignon predominates. Exhaustive tasting of test blends during the assemblage process determines how much, if any, merlot, petit verdot, or cabernet franc will be included in the finished wine. Each grape variety makes a contribution to the flavor and structure of the wine — with cabernet sauvignon often showing cassis and adding tannin, merlot giving plum character and a bit of softness, petit verdot contributing dark color and earthiness, and cabernet franc adding fragrance and a hint of spice. Each vintage is different, but year after year Monte Bello proves to be a consistently outstanding wine with great structure, complexity, and balance. And, in terms of ageability, it has been known to lay down for several decades with elegance and ease.

The Monte Bello vineyard ranges in elevation from 1300′ to 2700′ above sea level and is composed of unique green stone and clay soils layered over decomposing limestone. Limestone is not found in the well-known Cabernet producing areas of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, making the soil composition at Monte Bello a unique and important contributor to the wine’s distinctive character. The combination of elevation, cool climate, and soil produces a wine that is impeccably balanced and destined for long-term aging, with firm acidity and a consistent streak of minerality.


96 - 96 points
View Reviewer

True to the vineyard's mountain site, up to 814m in altitude, exposed to the cold Pacific, the wine has vivid cassis purity and a touch of green sage. 16 months in 58% new American oak may have rounded the edges of the wine, but none of that oak shows up in the wine's flavour- exquisite structure and balance. Ridge's Estate Cabernets come from old blocks in the Monte Bello Vineyard, but blocks that Paul Draper and John Olney feel tend to produce a wine that's more accessible young than the block's used for Ridge's top wine Monte Bello. Be that as it may, the Estate Cabernet blend comprised of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot drinks like a sophisticated age worthy wine- Karen MacNeil (November 2022)


Serving Temp.
14-18 °C
Cellar until
Now - 2035
Food pairing
rack of lamb with a truffle mushroom crust

Tasting Profile

Saturated purple colour with black cherry plum, black tea, cedar and sweet toasted oak on the nose. Bramble fruit, vanilla and mint on the palate with well coated tannins and a long finish. 100% whole berries fermented on the native yeasts, pressed at nine days. Natural Malolactic initiated in tank, finished in barrel with an additional 10 weeks of lees contact. Aged 16 months in barrel a mix of old and new American oak.

Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

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The Reserve Cellars. ABN 89621364994 Liquor License 196883. The Reserve Cellar supports the responsible service of alcohol. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. WARNING: Under the Liquor Act 1992, it is an offence to supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $6,000). for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $500).

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