Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2020


Out of stock
Santa Cruz Mountains, United States
94 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.

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.


94 - 94 points
Jeb Dunnuck

Coming from the estate vineyard on the eastern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains the 2020 Chardonnay Estate has a beautiful nose of honeyed lemon blossom, crushed stone, toasty oak and a touch of reductive like minerality. This carries to a brilliantly balanced medium bodied Chardonnaywith a round layered mouthfeel, good acidity and a focused style that should age gracefully for 7-8 years if not longer.


Serving Temp.
8-12 °C
Cellar until
Now - 2026
Food pairing
Smoked trout mousse with creme fraiche, dill and apple

Tasting Profile

Golden straw colour, notes of citrus, vanilla and apple on the nose. Medium to fill bodied on the palate with pear fruit, good minerality, a hint of honey and a long clean finish. Grapes are whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented. Natural primary and natural secondary malolactic fermentations. Aged fourteen months in barrel.

Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2020

Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2020
Out of stock

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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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