Of the four Historic Vineyards on Monte Bello, the Rousten Ranch is probably the least-known experientially, and the most mercurial reputationally. Nestled between Jimsomare (well-known amongst Ridge aficionados for producing legendary Cabernet and very-limited-production pre-Prohibition Zinfandel) and the old Torre property (currently the home of the Monte Bello Tasting Room), its origins go all the way back to turn-of-the-century, but as it was only replanted by Ridge in 2008, it has yet to fully start making its impact felt on the release portfolio from our Monte Bello Estate.
That said, I can happily report, with delight and pleasant surprise, that Cabernet Franc from the Rousten vineyards is lined up for the final 2011 Monte Bello Assemblage, so the future is most certainly very bright for this young but historically significant planting.
To get a sense of Rousten as a property, we can take a look at it utilizing images from our Aerial Vineyard Tour. Here is Rousten in the context of the four Historic Vineyards that comprise the Monte Bello Estate:
As can be seen above, the entire altitudinal span of our estate runs from about 1200 ft up to nearly 2700 feet. Rousten itself runs from about 1800 feet to 2100 feet:
As noted above, it’s a young planting (2008 and 2010), dominated by Cabernet Sauvingon, and also features Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.
Due to the lunatic heat we’ve been experiencing this past week (check out the Special Weather Statement — “Sizzling Early October Temps” — below!), the harvest teams have been picking all over Monte Bello just as fast as is humanly possible …
… and they’ve been very busy yesterday and today on the Rousten property; Petit Verdot, in particular, with the goal being to get from this:
Thanks so very much to our VP of Vineyard Operations David Gates for the wonderful photos, and deep bows of respect to David and the entire team for the extraordinary work they’re doing!