Local Delivery Available Curbside 12-5pm Daily Stores Temporarily Closed

2008 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1071647 98 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Ridge has long created a Californian classic; that broke all the rules – a Cabernet based wine grown not in Napa but on greenstone- and limestone-rich soils in the remote corners of the Santa Cruz Mountains, aged not in French oak but American. (Though Paul Draper asserts Bordeaux’s use of French oak is a post-World War I turn.) The Merlot comes from plots on heavier soils. It accounts for 28% of the 2008 which, coming after two drought years, shows great meatiness. Amid the youthful oak toast is black tea, anise, cedar shavings and bright currant, plus an intense mineral energy and beautifully finessed tannins. Drinking Window 2012 - 2030 (JB) Inner quote mark (7/2012)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2008 Monte Bello is striking. It is a decidedly muscular Monte Bello endowed with layers of dark fruit. Tobacco, mint, asphalt and crushed rocks develop in the glass, adding tons of complexity and finesse. A long, saline finish rounds things out beautifully. In 2008 the cold growing season stretched into October and the wine definitely has the feel of a cool vintage. The spring frost and the second year of drought conditions lowered yields significantly. Yields were just 1.25 tons per acre on average, but some of the older vineyards came in at less than 1 ton per acre. The balance of fruit, tannin and structure is simply extraordinary, but the wine needs time, most likely lots of it. In 2008 the blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038. (AG) Inner quote mark (8/2011)

95 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark I love the nose to this wine. Aromas of currants, blackberry, flowers and dried flowers. Full-bodied, with super refined tannins and a long gorgeous finish. This is all in finesse and length. Made from 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. Inner quote mark (5/2012)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2008 Monte Bello is marked by the drought vintage, which not only made a more concentrated crop but also deprived the blend of all supporting varieties, as only Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot handled the dry conditions sufficiently gracefully to make the final cut. At age ten, this muscular Monte Bello is finally beginning to unwind, offering up rich aromas of black cherry, cassis, dried mountain laurel, loamy soil and burning embers. On the palate, it's full-bodied, expansive and powerful, its generous, sweetly fruited attack giving way to a taut, firm mid-palate that doesn't show as much finesse as the 2010 or 2012, concluding with a long, stony finish. Baugher observes that in its youth, the 2008 was "monolithic and more angular—a mouthful of tannin." A decade later, it's beginning to soften, but it still requires another 5 or 6 years of bottle age. (WK) 95+ Inner quote mark (5/2018)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Glass-staining ruby. Powerful, pungent aromas of cherry-vanilla, cassis, candied licorice and graphite, along with a suave floral oil quality that gains strength with air. Deeply pitched dark berry flavors show a liqueur-like intensity, as well as notes of smoky Indian spices, violet and vanilla. Ripe but quite vibrant, wih superb finishing clarity and persistence. This extremely young wine makes the case that high alcohol isn't a prerequisite for intensity or power in California Cabernet. (JR) 95+ Inner quote mark (10/2011)

95 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark Monte Bello is a wine of nuance and harmony, its sleek structure and scents of truffles and tar giving it a feel more often associated with the Old World than the New. The blend is 72 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, the balance in Merlot, grown on a limestone ridge under the cool influence of the Pacific 15 miles to the west. This vintage, from a relatively short crop, has impressive flavor impact without weight. It feels almost spherical, the supple tannins surrounding blueberry and black mushroom flavors, the freshness of the Cabernet hinting at pipe tobacco. A pleasure to drink now, this is firmly built to age a decade or longer. Inner quote mark (12/2011)

95 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Tightly packed, with vivid fig, currant and blackberry fruit, while a spice thread and a light singed wood hint add lift and cut throughout. This has hit a really engaging phase and is starting to shed its youthful exuberance ever so slightly.—Non-blind Ridge Monte Bello vertical (June 2019). Best from 2020 through 2038. (JM, Web-2019) Inner quote mark

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Very correct and with lots of lift. Dry finish and wonderfully complex though embryonic. 18/20 points. (JR) Inner quote mark (9/2011)


Share |
Price: $219.99
Add To Waiting List

Real Time Inventory by location:

The item you have chosen is not in stock in our retail stores or within our main warehouse.

Product turnaround time varies by location of inventory and your chosen method of shipping/pickup. For a detailed explanation click here.

Product Reviews:

Add your own review of this item

By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/14/2011 | Send Email
Coming from an extraordinarily small vintage, the concentration and depth of this year's Monte Bello is astonishing. Drinking this over two days revealed layers upon layers of full, dark fruit, laced with sand stone, old leather, and minerality stemming from the limestone in the vineyard. A wine that will surely age with grace and style, something I can't wait to open with good friends and family in the next 10 to 20 years.

Additional Information: