The Monte Bello Collector Component Tasting In Pictures, Praise, and Prose …

We don’t do a great many events in any given year up here on our mountain, so when we do stage them, we try to thoroughly imbue them with all the passion and gravitas our four-sizes-that-day wine-hearts can muster.

Our annual trio of Monte Bello Collector events are as special to us as anything we do, and of the three, the Component Tasting is quite possibly the most magical of all.

It is as unique a wine happening as I can imagine, and I believe it affords our Monte Bello Collector members one of the rather more singularly experiential ways by which to get to know the wine that will one day be theirs.

The Monte Bello is essentially what is oft-referred to as a Bordeaux blend; meaning, it is composed of an assemblage of varietals traditionally associated with the famed Bordeaux region in France; in our case, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.

As tasters and collectors of our Monte Bello know, the percentages in the assemblage vary year to year, depending primarily on the mercurial contributions of a nuanced and complex panoply of sub-microclimatic blocks within the larger vineyard borders of our mountain estate.

What the Component Tasting afford collectors the opportunity to do is experience barrel samples of the individual components prior to The Final Assemblage, and on top of that, to taste The First Assemblage; meaning, essentially, to preview the results of our first go-around with building what will eventually become The Final Assemblage – i.e. the Monte Bello.

[For a full explanation of how the assemblage process works and plays out, please click here.]

The Monte Bello Collector program is quite literally a “futures” program, but for our members, the future begins now.

Or should I say, it began on March 9th …

Comin' down the mountain, before it all begins ...

Comin’ down the mountain, before it all begins …

It was a beautiful morning, alive with the light of Mother Nature’s wide smile warming our Earth-Ball’s still-sleeping belly …

The mountain, in the morning …

In but a few hours, the very knoll itself would be reverberating underneath a march of glass-in-handed revelers …

The tables await ...

The tables await …

…but for now, the empty tables waited, patient.

For this …

David Gates & Eric Baugher & everyone ...

David Gates & Eric Baugher & everyone …

Quite a transformation, to say the least, but in all the merry hysteria there remained a transcendent and sensorial calm pervading everyone and everything. It was in the old Torre Winery Barn …

Still life with Michael ...

Still life with Michael …

The Old Torre Winery Barn ...

The Old Torre Winery Barn …

Fatted Calf's legendary charcuterie slicer ...

Fatted Calf’s legendary charcuterie slicer …

And it was under the umbrellas …

The Knoll & The Umbrellas & The Happiness ...

The Knoll & The Umbrellas & The Happiness …

MBCI_PatioUnderTheUmbrellas

Under the umbrellas …

You might even say Monte Bello had Aloha

Aloha, Monte Bello ...

Aloha, Monte Bello …

A few more images from a wonderful weekend …

Torre Winery Barn, and everyone in it ...

Torre Winery Barn, and everyone in it …

The tasting bar ...

The tasting bar …

Barrel Sample ...

Barrel Sample …

Table Three, Cabernet Franc ...

Table Three, Cabernet Franc …

Table Two, Petit Verdot ...

Table Two, Petit Verdot …

Still life with Antonio ...

Still life with Antonio …

The esteemed Richard Jennings (RJOnWine.com), taking notes ...

The esteemed Richard Jennings (RJOnWine.com), taking notes …

RJOnWine.com taking notes, detail ...

RJOnWine.com taking notes, detail …

Still Life with Kyle ...

Still Life with Kyle …

Still life with Jenny ...

Still life with Jenny …

It's Not You, It's Brie ...

It’s Not You, It’s Brie …

MBCI_FattedCalfCharcuterieSlicer

Charcuterie by Fatted Calf …

Eric Baugher, hosting …

Eric Baugher, pouring …

Paul Draper & Eric Baugher ...

Paul Draper & Eric Baugher …

David Gates & Eric Baugher ...

David Gates & Eric Baugher …

Still life with ring, bottle, and shades ...

Still life with ring, bottle, and shades …

The 2012 Monte Bello, for now ...

The 2012 Monte Bello, for now …

2012 Monte Bello crystal ...

Crystal …

~

I wish to conclude this post with beautiful words of praise from two of our wonderful members …

There is no doubt the wines poured were excellent, showing great character and promising a long life. We can all agree that the weather was stunning and made Sunday one of the most beautiful days we have spent at Ridge in years. But it is the Ridge Monte Bello tasting room team that put the life into the affair. This team worked all day to host the hundreds of us that came to enjoy.  And with praise equal to the wine and the weather, Rene and I extend our sincere thanks to the whole team for making Sunday one of the finest days in our Ridge memories. They are what makes days like this wonderful. — Les and Rene

To Les & Rene, to the team you so kindly speak of, and to everyone who made this event so special, I wish to offer the deepest of bows.

Thank you.

~

By name, the event hosts:

Paul Draper, Eric Baugher, David Gates, Shun Ishikubo, Karen Leeds, Kyle Theriot, Antonio Favela, Emma Henkens, Jenny Merit, Karen Cai, Kathryn Thompson, Kim Korupp, Lori Monteleone, Michael Riese, Nancy Tarng, Peter Yaninek, Samantha McMillan, Sonja Seaberg, Tara Townsend, Cecilia Aguilar, Jamie Lesperance, Amy Monroe, Sam Howles-Banerji, and Kirsten Anderson.



Categories: Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Events & Photographs, Food & Wine Pairing, Merlot, Monte Bello, Paul Draper, Petit Verdot, RIDGE Staff, Special Offerings, Tasting Events/Opportunities, Tasting Flights, Varietals & Blends, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine & Food Pairing, Wine Clubs

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