2018 Ridge Monte Bello

Proprietary Blend - 6L
Reg: $2,250.00
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WA 99 JS 97 WS 97 VN 96 W&S 96 JA 95 JD 95 WE 95
WA 99

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, April 2024

The 2018 Monte Bello is as classic a release from this storied site as ever. It contains 17% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. A ravishing, multidimensional nose of wet clay, cocoa powder, peperoncini, cured...
JS 97

jamessuckling.com, April 2021

A bright and beautiful Monte Bello with dark and black fruit, such as blackcurrants, as well as walnuts and hints of vanilla. Full-bodied with creamy tannins that are there from start to finish. Turns lightly dusty...
WS 97

Wine Spectator, August 2021

Very expressive, with warmed blueberry compote, menthol, sweet bay, steeped açaí and zesty sassafras notes all in the mix, carried by brambly grip and a cold cast iron spine. Late echo of mesquite completes this...
VN 96

Vinous, May 2022

(96+ points) The 2018 Monte Bello is ridiculously young. There's plenty of energy and drive, but writing a note at this point is rather superfluous. Readers should not plan on opening a bottle anytime soon. Early...
W&S 96

Wine & Spirits, December 2021

The youthful energy of this wine is breathtaking, as if channeling its proximity to the sky and the ocean in a combination of brightness and freshness, their power subsumed into supple fruit. It’s cabernet with a sense of...
JA 95

janeanson.com, October 2022

Showcasing plum, damson, redcurrant and raspberry fruits, this has the clarity of flavour, depth, power and texture that make Ridge such an icon in the world of Cabernet. There's a touch of sweetness underneath the fruit...
JD 95

jebdunnuck.com, December 2021

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello comes from a cooler, even, drought year and is based on 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. I believe it was aged all in American oak as...
WE 95

Wine Enthusiast, December 2021

This ever-classic blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc begins with black plum, sandalwood and incense on the nose, offering a very forest vibe. Blackberry and tea-leaf flavors...


Color & Type Red
Varietal Proprietary Blend
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region Central Coast
Appellation Santa Cruz Mountains
Vintage 2018
Size 6L
Percent alcohol 13.7%
Closure Cork

Ridge Vineyards is a California winery best known for its Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon and its equally famous range of Zinfandel wines and blends. The winery’s history dates back to 1885 when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He planted vineyards on terraced slopes and constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first Monte Bello vintage in 1892.

In 1959, four scientists from Stanford University's Research Institute purchased land adjacent to the Perrone property, the middle vineyard, and created an estate Cabernet. They formed the Ridge Vineyards partnership in 1962 and re-bonded the winery to produce the first official commercial vintage of Monte Bello. The first Zinfandel was made in 1964 from eighty-year-old vines and was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville Zinfandel from vines that are now one hundred and thirty years old. 1972 marked the first Lytton Springs, from vines planted in 1902.

The old Monte Bello winery and a small part of the Perrone vineyard property was purchased by Ridge in 1968. The old cellar, made of native limestone and built into the mountainside, is Ridge’s production facility today. At 2600 feet above sea level, it is surrounded by the upper vineyard.

Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991, completing the lineup of Ridge’s three estate vineyards which provides for 75% of the fruit they use. The winery produces wine at both the original Monte Bello location and Lytton Springs.

Paul Draper joined Ridge Vineyards as winemaker 1969. Draper became one of the world’s most celebrated winemakers, earning awards and accolades for his exceptional work. After nearly 46 years at the helm, Draper retired in 2016. Eric Baugher, COO and director of winemaking at Monte Bello, and John Olney, COO and winemaker at Ridge Lytton Springs, continue Ridge’s style and legacy of quality. Both men have worked with Paul Draper at Ridge for 20+ years.

Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. The Ridge pre-industrial approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit’s distinctive character and richness into the wine.

The 2018 Ridge Monte Bello is a truly exceptional wine that is sure to impress even the most discerning of palates. With its deep ruby-purple color and enticing aromas, this wine is a true masterpiece.

On the nose, the 2018 Monte Bello offers an array of captivating scents, including boysenberry, blueberry jam, blackcurrant, dark chocolate-covered cherries, cigar box, graphite, and loamy earth. These aromas are complemented by oodles of floral character, creating a bouquet that is both complex and inviting.

The palate of this wine is equally impressive, with medium to full-bodied texture and a plethora of flavor layers. The fine, ripe tannins are beautifully integrated, providing a smooth and velvety mouthfeel. Flavors of blackcurrants, walnuts, and hints of vanilla dance on the palate, while a touch of dustiness adds depth and intrigue. The wine finishes with remarkable length, leaving a lasting impression.

The 2018 Ridge Monte Bello is a wine that will undoubtedly benefit from aging, but it is already showing immense potential. While it is enjoyable now, it is recommended to wait until at least 2025 for the wine to fully come together. However, if you can't resist the temptation, a healthy decant will allow you to experience its stunning qualities.

This wine is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 11% Petite Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. It is aged in American oak, with a touch of French oak, which adds a delightful complexity to the wine. The result is a seamless and elegant expression of the Monte Bello terroir.

With its impeccable balance, beautiful tannins, and impressive structure, the 2018 Ridge Monte Bello is a wine that promises decades of enjoyment. Whether you choose to savor it now or cellar it for future indulgence, this wine is a true gem that showcases the best of California winemaking. Don't miss the opportunity to experience this extraordinary wine.