Unbelievable “Three Decades of Monte Bello” tasting! Open to you!

It’s exactly one month until Cabernet Day. That is to say, #CabernetDay!


The second annual.

It’s an international phenomenon, a worldwide celebration of all things Cabernet, taking place across all social media platforms.

In Bangladesh? Join in! Buenos Aires? Can’t wait to chat! Baltimore? See you on Facebook! Blaenau Ffestiniog? I’ll be looking for your tweets!

Ridge Vineyards is ALL IN on this one, boyos and birds!

Ever heard of a lil’ ol’ wine called Monte Bello? You can bet we’ll be doing #CabernetDay. And dig how we’ll be doing it …

On September 1st, at both of our estate locations (Lytton Springs and Monte Bello) we’ll be offering special by-appointment seated tastings of not only a three-vintage vertical of our Estate Cabernet (2004, 2005, & 2006), but a THREE-DECADE VERTICAL OF MONTE BELLO! And not just any three-decade vertical, mind you. We’ll be tasting the 1985 Monte Bello, the 1995 Monte Bello, and …. drum roll … the 2001 Monte Bello! Yup, the vintage that just got a 99 POINT RATING FROM ROBERT PARKER!

Listen, I’m biased, and I admit it. There is a reason I work for Ridge Vineyards. But I’m telling you, with total objectivity front and center, you’re simply out of your mind if you miss this. This is one of those rare tasting opportunities that just don’t come along that often, and I really, really, really hope that you can come. 

Now, of course I won’t really think you’re insane if you miss this. I just really  think you should come taste these wines with us. I really do.

So, on to the important part. To reserve your place at the tasting table, just click here.

There, you’re done.

In fact, you’re already here. It’s already the 1st. You’re already seated at the table. Your host is pouring the first wine into your glass. Angels are out in broad daylight, plucking soothing melodies on harps of gold outside the window. The sun’s soft finger is lightly brushing the back of your neck. All over the world, people are laying down their guns. The markets are surging. The wind whispers your name, and you say “Yes, it is I.” Somewhere a puppy is born.

If the puppy and the angels and the 99-point rating didn’t get you, here is a look at the wines we’ll be offering:

1985 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello

Excellent umami aromatics! Plus, lovely wafts of cedar and pipe tobacco, with a hint of boysenberries. Meticulously elegant point-of-entry, laying soft on the tip of the tongue and skipping into the cheeks with some nice acidity and a touch of sweetly, modestly covered tannin. Good dark fruit mid-palate, with some rusticity and earth rumbling through. Not particularly weighty; an easy sipper. The finish shows a bit of the age, but no degradation, just nice, mature, pure and quality Cabernet fruit. As gentle as it gets, and fascinating accordingly. 

1995 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello

Rich, concentrated, compact and compressed nose, a muscular jolt of big red fruit, cassis, anise, fig, and leather. Huge at the front, taking up every available space at point-of-entry. Unctuous and lush, a whole lot of wine on offer. Mid-palate opens up and shows some cherry and mixed red berries, and spreads a plush quilt of viscosity seamed with fine-grained tannins and a lingering hint of eucalyptal herbaceousness. The finish is intensely structured; amazing for a wine that’s been in bottle nearly 15 years. Almost impossibly youthful still, but with a load of meat on the bone.

2001 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello

Good lord, what a lot of wine! This is an intense, intense vintage; the nose is positively loaded! Ripe, rich, sweet, cola and licorice and blackberry pie! The mouthfeel is just about as viscous as the aromatics would lead you to believe, with a luxuriant point-of-entry and a multi-tiered middle that, despite all the decadence, ripeness, and viscosity, still manages to showcase the herbs, spice, and forestation of a classic Monte Bello. The finish is strong on blue fruit and nice dusky tannins, but overall, the wine is still almost mind-bendingly young. Perfect proof that big doesn’t mean sabotaging balance; this is every bit as graceful as, say, the 1985 described above, but this is a bigger, wilder rendition.

If you’d like to see Eric Baugher’s recent tasting notes on this vintage (Eric is our VP of winemaking here at Monte Bello), well, good luck!

The important things to note in there are words like “Fresh, alive, layered, complex,” and “youthful/delicious,” and “young and capable +15-20 more years.”

Anyhow, the amazing thing about the whole #CabernetDay phenomenon is that it really and truly does play out as envisioned; we participated last year, and it was truly remarkable. People from all over the world, literally, tasting their favorite Cabernets at the same time, sharing their thoughts on-line, engaging in dialogue, talking. This is what wine does. It makes you talk. With other people. About pleasant things. Like wine.

Seriously, every liquid indulgence has its effect; beer makes you sleepy and want to play pinball. Tequila makes you quiet and want to hit people with pool cues. Vodka makes you dance way too much, and not well, and then completely forget that you danced way too much, and not well. Martinis make you have more martinis, taking you swiftly  from sophisticated to unconscious. Absinthe makes you see dead people. But wine? Ah, wine. Wine makes you nice. And comfortable. Wine makes you feel like cooking, and sharing your cooking with other people. Wine makes you not only tell good stories, but listen to them as well. No one ever opened a newspaper and read of a murder-suicide committed after drinking a bottle of single-vineyard Cabernet. No, wine makes you congenial, and poetic. Wine makes you like music, and bread. Wine makes people love people.

This is what happens on #CabernetDay. People love people.

And now, with our new and very special #CabernetDay tastings, you can love Cabernet and people both, and you can do so both virtually, and in proximity.

Please consider yourselves invited.

Categories: Cabernet Sauvignon, Events, Food & Wine Pairing, Lytton Springs, Monte Bello, Offerings, Press Reviews, Santa Cruz Mountains Estate, Social Media, Tasting Flights, Tasting Notes, Tasting Rooms, Varietals & Blends, Virtual Verticals, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine & Art, Wine & Music, Wine & Poetry, Wine Blogs, Wine Tales, Winemaking

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