Assemblage Monte Bello: A Pictorial Remembrance

It was a truly beautiful morning; ripe with promise, alive with anticipation, resplendent with resplendence.

For events of this scale, we park our own cars well out of the way, high above the vines.

The walk down in the morning, before it all began, was remarkable …


As the sun began its slow and stately waltz towards the Torre Winery Barn, our team began to gather, assembling the pieces of what would shortly become Assemblage Monte Bello …


Glassware, of course …


… but no component more important than the wines themselves …

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And of course, a little something from the Library …


Yes, that IS the 2000 Monte Bello. A wine you might recognize from a little re-enactment of a little something we’ve come to know as The Judgment of Paris.

30 years down the line from the original occurrence, an oeno-quorum of sorts was re-convened to address a couple key protestations in response to the original results. For example, ageworthiness. Cue 1971 Monte Bello, thank you very much. The other complaint was, essentially, flukiness. Meaning, the claim was made that the results were a fluke, a one-off, a never-again-to-be-repeated aberration.

To address this question in 2006, young offerings were tasted from all the producers who’d performed in the original event, to see whether or not they were STILL making fine wines, or whether it HAD been a fluke. Cue 2000 Monte Bello, thank you very much.

(for the full Judgment of Paris story, please click here)

All that said, the real star of the Assemblage Monte Bello Event was of course … the Assemblage.

At this stage of the game, it’s classified as the First Assemblage; winemaker Eric Baugher was up nearly all the night before, personally pulling the barrel samples for all our guests to taste …


Perhaps needless to say, the bottles did not go to waste. Rather, they got rather … well … used.


That there is the vine-weathered hand of our own David Gates, VP of Vineyard Operations for Ridge, who was on hand to host. You can see him here with Aaron, entertaining the troops …


As I hope you’ve experienced on your visits to Monte Bello -whether to this event, other events, or in the tasting room- we really have a lovely and amazing and excellent and heroic and wise and excellent group of staff members up here; as delightful and weird and impassioned and funky and spirited and knowledgeable a group of wine devotees as I could ever hope to assemble, and as I hope can be seen from the photos below, they had a great time hosting you at Assemblage Monte Bello!

Please say hello to a few of our gang: Jenny, Kim, Michael, Peter, Sam, Emma, and Jane!

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One of the real pleasures of this event -certainly for me, and hopefully for our guests as well- is the appearance of members of our production team; this time around, it was the Vineyard Team doing the co-hosting honors. In addition to David Gates, we also welcomed Kyle Theriot, our esteemed Viticulturist here at Monte Bello …


Another singular aspect of these events is our continuing partnership with local culinary providers; for this year’s event we welcomed back the very fine Fatted Calf Charcuterie


… as well as a new partner: Kirstin Jackson, author of It’s Not You, It’s Brie, and the curator for the cheeses we served …


And of course, no Monte Bello Event would be complete without that incredible bread from Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola. Betcha can’t eat just one …


Now, it should be noted that, while I referred to the 2012 Monte Bello First Assemblage above as “the real star” of the event, that is of course not actually accurate. The True Stars of the event were, as always, our wonderful guests …

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And with that, I dare say, happiness is …

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And then suddenly, come Sunday evening, it was all over.

No more wine, no more glasses, no more guests. Just the long walk back up through the vines, there to be met with the conclusionary symbol of a workday completed …


Categories: Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Events, Food & Wine Pairing, Merlot, Monte Bello, Offerings, RIDGE Staff, Tasting Events/Opportunities, Varietals & Blends, Vineyards, Virtual Verticals, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine & Food Pairing, Wine Clubs, Wine Tales

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