Nestled on a secluded mountaintop, Ridge has reigned as one of California's pre-eminent wine estates for over six decades. Its Cabernets are the stuff of legend, with the Monte Bello being the most sought-after by collectors. The Thirty Year Re-Enactment of the Judgment of Paris Tasting only served to elevate Ridge's status, when the Monte Bello Cabernet captured the top spot.In 1959, three Stanford Research Institute engineers - Dave Bennion, Hew Crane and Charlie Rosen - took a gamble and bought a piece of land on Monte Bello Ridge. They christened their new venture 'Ridge' after the volcanic ridge on which it perched. In their first year, they produced only a single barrel of Cabernet using old vines on the property. Three years later, they unleashed their first commercial Cabernet, named 'Vintage 1962'. The wine was so exceptional that Ridge's future winemaker, Paul Draper, who arrived in 1969,  likened it to a First Growth Bordeaux.
It was the 1971 Monte Bello that caught the attention of Steven Spurrier and Patricia Gallagher, who selected it as one of the five red wines for the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting, blind-tasting French wines against those from the US. Ridge Monte Bello came in fifth in the original 1976 tasting, with Stags Leap Wine Cellars' 1973 Cabernet coming in first. The French judges attempted to explain the outcome by suggesting that California wines were more suitable for youthful consumption due to their rich fruit and texture. However, the judges were confident that once matured, French wines would outperform their California counterparts.Determined to challenge this theory, Spurrier and Gallagher organized a Thirty-Year Re-Enactment of the Paris Tasting in 2006, featuring the same vintages of the same wines, now 30 years old. The event was held simultaneously in Paris, London, and Napa Valley, with judges in each location. In this new tasting, the 1971 Ridge Monte Bello took the top spot, finishing 18 points ahead of the second-ranked Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 1973 and a remarkable 32 points ahead of the highest-rated Bordeaux, Château Mouton Rothschild 1970.
Today John Only is head winemaker who continues Ridge's philosophy of minimal intervention, "we’ve always been a terroir-driven, rather than winemaker-driven or varietal-driven winery... Cold air hitting Monte Bello ridge is what makes Ridge, Ridge. That and limestone."The 2019 Ridge Monte Bello continues to impress, scoring up to 99 points and summed up nicely by Vinous' Antonio Galloni, "in a word: magnificent!".This outstanding wine will happily sit alongside the best of both new-world and old-world wines in cellars for 30+ years and, as James Suckling ponders, "this may age forever".We have just four cases of this wonderful wine, in stock and immediately available for delivery.
Ridge Monte Bello 2019£480 (3x75cl) IBLimited availability99 Points | James SuckingThis is a very powerful Monte Bello with currants and blackberry, black licorice and smoked meat. Mint. Some sesame seed, too. It's full-bodied with incredible darkness and saltiness like volcanic salt. Umami. Grilled seaweed. Flavorful and captivating. It goes on for minutes. Try after 2025, but this may age forever.98 Points | Antonio Galloni, VinousThe 2019 Monte Bello is a wild, exotic wine. Huge, soaring aromatics meld into a core of heady, exotically ripe fruit. Not a shy wine by any means, the 2019 is atypically opulent, and yet all of the classic Monte Bello structure is there, underneath all of that fruit. The 2019 needs time in bottle to shed its baby fat, but there is a lot to look forward to. I imagine it will always be a pretty exuberant wine. Inky red fruit, blood orange, espresso, sweet American oak, cedar and pipe tobacco leave a lasting impression. In a word: magnificent! (Drink between 2029-2059)97 Points | Erin Brooks, Wine AdvocateMedium ruby in color, the 2019 Monte Bello is bursting with pure, expressive perfume! Red and black currants are layered with wafts of rose petals, charcuterie, fresh thyme and tobacco, graphite, vanilla and cedar. Medium-bodied, it's the definition of weightless intensity, with concentrated layers of floral perfume and spice, a silky, mouthwatering frame, and a very long, ethereal finish that calls you back to the glass for another sip. Delicate, complex and very easy to drink, it's an especially elegant expression of Monte Bello!
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Qty of Units

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Ridge Monte Bello





WA95 WS90

In Stock

Ridge Monte Bello


6 x 750ml



WA94 WS87 VM92 JR18.5

In Stock

Ridge Monte Bello





WA98 WS96 VM96+

In Stock

Ridge Monte Bello


3 x 750ml




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