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 Vintage1997 Label 1 of 173 
TypeRed
ProducerRidge (web)
VarietyRed Bordeaux Blend
Designationn/a
VineyardMonte Bello
CountryUSA
RegionCalifornia
SubRegionSan Francisco Bay
AppellationSanta Cruz Mountains
UPC Code(s)500000001767

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2008 and 2024 (based on 55 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 93.4 pts. and median of 93 pts. in 179 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by bjschmitt on 12/24/2015 & rated 93 points: Christmas Eve - beef tenderloin, potatoes with leeks, roast carrots.
Cork broke - but none made it to the wine. Decanted 30 minutes before first glass.
Purple/crimson, almost opaque, good color to the rim.
Jane and Pete got a musty note on the nose, which blew away quickly. I didn't catch that. We all got wood, dark fruit, very perfumed.
Dry, full body, still tannin (although mellowing out), cherry and more, still a powerful presence in the glass, full dark.
Not fading, but not gaining ground either. (1182 views)
 Tasted by Hodby on 10/26/2015 & rated 96 points: Dark red-violet. Complex, powerful, changing nose: pipe tobacco, red cherry, spearmint, arboreal forest, macadam, fig jam, cedar chest. On arrival, fine medium tannin and firm acidity; this one is young. Palate-coating, deep fruit and rare intensity. Extremely long finish, complex, "first growth" identity. I'll remember this bottle for quite some time. Thanks Fritz and Phoebe. (2209 views)
 Tasted by aquacongas on 10/2/2015 & rated 98 points: Big Blind Tasting of 19 Reds from California 1997

For me 4th rank, overall 5th place with an average of 95,9 points.

Very concentrated fruits as black currant and cherries, mint and eucalyptus reminding to martha's vineyard, extract sweetness, coco-cola in the palate, spicy and herbal in the finish, fullbodied and still young with a vitalizing acidity, 97-98 (2299 views)
 Tasted by jkoenen on 9/26/2015 & rated 95 points: 97 Napa-retrospective (Restaurant Bottles, Sas van Gent): Mouthwatering, well-defined red and black fruit. Gorgeous freshness, this is the best of both (new and old) worlds... Spice-box seasoning (pepper, cloves, cinnamon), beefy/meaty component too. A wine approaching its prime drinking window. Respect! (my #7; group #5; 93-98) (2167 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 9/26/2015 & rated 95 points: Beautiful bouquet with red and dark forest fruits, sweet spices and beautiful oak. Ripe and rich. On the palate beautiful fruits, soft sweet spices, a lot of sweetness, but also great acidity. Good and still youthful tannin. Very harmonious. A truly great new world, but also classical wine. Mature, but no hurry at all. This will still be a feast 5+ years from now. (2282 views)
 Tasted by Jeff Leve on 9/23/2015 & rated 92 points: Medium/full bodied, with a fresh, vibrant, crisp, clean personality, the serves up a beautiful display of fresh, ripe, cherries and plums with the right amount of lift to keep things going. But it lacks the weight and depth of the better vintages for this often stunning wine. (2603 views)
 Tasted by Collector1855 on 9/13/2015 & rated 97 points: Checking in on some younger Bordeaux and other treasures with a fellow collector friend. This wine recently came in first in a 15year vertical by a group of aficionados I know. Reason enough to buy a bottle and see as the 1997 vintage is of course a Napa classic.
TN: Medium garnet with brick rim. Expressive nose of dark fruit with tobacco eucalyptus, cedar wood, pine tree. Great complexity with a distinctively Californian profile - surely not Medoc but could possibly be taken as a super Tuscan as well from the nose. Enters the palate medium bodied, almost light, with great elegance and fully dissolved, soft tannins. Ripe fruit buffered by excellent tannins and freshness. This Santa Cruze Mouintain gem is far from the sometimes opulent but rather monolithic Napa offerings. Paul Draper knows his craft! Monte Bello remains one of the best and classy CabSav blend offerings of the US despite many strong competitors from Napa and Sonoma. I wish more wines of only 12.5% of alcohol had such mid-palate presence and aromatic depth. Outstanding! Fully mature, drink up. (1800 views)
 Tasted by JonAllen on 7/28/2015: having at the Riverbed closing dinner... notes to follow (2040 views)
 Tasted by Ericsson on 7/24/2015 & rated 94 points: Bouteille en parfaite condition, bouchon un peu sec qui a cassé au milieu. Into neck. Dégusté un demi verre pour décider si on carafe ou non. Carafé durant 1 heure avant de déguster. Couleur grenat foncé avec quelques nuances orangées de ci de là.
Le premier nez est toujours un peu poussiéreux et le passage en carafe lui a fait le plus grand bien. Le nez est très bordelais avec beaucoup de notes de fruits noirs, de fumée, de mocca.
La bouche, elle, est plus californienne, plus chaude, plus ronde, plus épaisse, torréfiée mais sans lourdeur aucune. Le vin montre aussi une certaine complexité, notamment avec une finale très longue et savoureuse.
Cela faisait presque 3 ans que je n'avais pas bu ce vin et cette bouteille était bien supérieure à la précédente.
Selon moi, le vin est à pleine maturité et devrait y rester durant 5 à 10 ans encore. (1753 views)
 Tasted by Meneley on 7/12/2015: Moved to drink now section. Wine is on decline. Looks like wine might have been coravined? Drink now. LO (1803 views)
 Tasted by Salemlawyer on 6/27/2015 & rated 96 points: What an amazing wine. We enjoyed this last night to celebrate the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling and it is drinking beautifully right now. Decanted for an hour, it was a bit tight when we first tasted, but after decanting it opened beautifully. It still has plenty of time, but we only had one bottle and the time was right! We are going to get a couple more vintages to enjoy down the line. (1896 views)
 Tasted by pismo45 on 6/1/2015 & rated 92 points: Nice dark fruits. Not a young wine but still a long ways to go. Fruit was tasty but there wasn't a whole lot of complexity. A mag left and will try to save it for another 10 years. (2117 views)
 Tasted by spendergast on 5/17/2015 & rated 93 points: Sweet dark fruit with notes of raspberry, cherry, cassis with well integrated tannins and nice balance. Paired nicely with grilled Bison ribeye. (1884 views)
 Tasted by dedwards on 4/10/2015: still powerful (2266 views)
 Tasted by awineo on 3/19/2015 & rated 94 points: Paired this with a Pahlmeyer 2005 at a wine dinner. Excellent structure and solid fruit. Very smooth tannins. Good blend (2527 views)
 Tasted by TastesGoodToMe on 3/14/2015 & rated 94 points: South Charlotte Wine Lovers - California Bordeaux Blends (Bob and Anita's Place on Lake Wylie): Drank alongside a Pahlmeyer '05 and this was the winner. What struck me about this bottle was that it clearly had the benefits of AGE without tasting OLD. Too many times a 15+ bottle of wine can taste "old", done and a bit musky versus tasting like and "aged wine" where you can pick up on the tertiary flavors that are usually hidden in a wine's youth. Excellent. (2510 views)
 Tasted by guitarguy on 2/17/2015 & rated 92 points: Bright, youthful and still with nerve. Mostly blueberry and currant with mild tannins. Fell apart a bit on the second night so advise drinking in one setting. (2360 views)
 Tasted by jsebiri on 12/22/2014: nice juice , very well made , not great but very good , had many hallmark characteristics of classic cali claret ............ unfortunately this was my last bottle. (2758 views)
 Tasted by sdrucker1000 on 11/6/2014 & rated 93 points: Flowers and licorice nose. Picking up some nuts and chocolate underneath black fruits. Clean, smooth finish. Only quibble is it is lacking some fruit although picking up more and more over the course of the night. Excellent. (3153 views)
 Tasted by Wim de Leeuw on 9/27/2014 & rated 94 points: Paris Tasting in Zwolle (again... at last) (De Librije - Zwolle): Kleur: Diep donker rood, enorme kleurintensiteit Aroma / bouquet: Nog een beetje gesloten, ingehouden aroma, veel sluimerende power, donker fruit, zwarte bessen, inkt, potloodslijpsel. Powerwijn met potentieel. Smaak / Afdronk: Wow!. Dik sap, indrukwekkende concentratie, zacht zuur, krachtige tannines met een prettige bite, indrukwekkende lengte. Algemeen / potentieel: Heerlijk glas. Voor mijn smaak: VEEL te jong. Royaal decanteren is aanbevolen. 50 + Kleur: 5 + Aroma / bouquet: 13 + Smaak / Afdronk: 17 + Algemeen / potentieel: 9 = 94/100

Google Translate:

Color: Deep dark red, great color intensity Aroma / bouquet: Still a little closed, restrained aroma, much latent power, dark fruit, blackcurrant, ink, pencil shavings. Power Wine with potential Taste / Finish:. Wow !. Thick juice, impressive concentration, soft acid, powerful tannins with a pleasant bite, impressive length General / potential.: Delicious glass. For my taste: WAY too young. Generously decanting is recommended. 50 + Color: 5 + Aroma / bouquet: 13 + Taste / Finish: 17 + General / potential: 9 = 94/100 (3640 views)
 Tasted by jhw425 on 8/9/2014 & rated 93 points: Took 2-3 hours to open up. When it did lots of Mocha, cassis and dark fruits. Fruit hasn't faded at all but took a while to come around. Just got better with time. (3504 views)
 Tasted by Javachip on 8/9/2014 & rated 95 points: A Double Birth Year Celebration (San Diego): Not decanted. Clear inky garnet color. Stunning bouquet of black and red currants, blackberries and cherries along with their respective liqueurs, eucalyptus, mocha, nutmeg, cloves. Rich, generous, balanced, full body, everything in beautiful proportion, acidity and tannins providing amazing structure. My #3 and group's THIRD PLACE (tie) in this flight. (4331 views)
 Tasted by DrakkarNoir on 6/26/2014: California Mavericks @ Five Sails: 12.9% abv (85% Cab Sauv, 8% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cab Franc). Nose was on the more muted side: earth, blueberries and slight spice. Little in way of tannins, some acidity present… overall a more elegant wine. Drank alongside a '97 Dominus, and this was, not surprisingly, overpowered. Thought I'd like this more of the two… but didn't. (3443 views)
 Tasted by jww on 6/1/2014 & rated 93 points: after 45 from opening wine was approachable but still tight
Fruit in the nose with a hint of slate
Earthy mineral flavor, graphite or slate, dark fruits a very complex wine
Will kèèp my last bottle for a while longer (3363 views)
 Tasted by Papies on 5/17/2014 & rated 92 points: Saturday night at The Papies (The Papies, Elizabeth St, London): Not sure if we didn't like it as much this time because of our change in taste or the fact that if followed a flight of old world wines made its modern and a touch overdone on the oak side more visible. A lot of sweet oak on the nose and palate that eclipse an otherwise very good wine. The solid ripe fruit is there, rich core, dark in colour as if its a 2005 Bordeaux. Just shame for that overdone sweet oak nose. No need for that in such a ripe vintage... 92 (3364 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, September/October 2000, IWC Issue #92
(Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Red Blend) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2000, IWC Issue #90
(Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Red Blend) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 1999, IWC Issue #84
(Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Red Blend) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 1998, IWC Issue #78
(Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Red Blend) Subscribe to see review text.
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (6/20/2010)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Dark red violet color; ripe plum, berry, blackberry nose; tart berry, blackberry, black plum palate with sweet tannins; medium-plus finish 93+ pts. (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc)  93 points
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (4/17/2010)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Opaque dark red violet color; nice herbal, herbaceous, tart black fruit, sage nose; tightish, tart berry, plum, mineral palate; with depth; medium-plus finish (my #4 of the flight, group's #5 of 8)  93 points
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (11/18/2007)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Dark red violet color; ripe cherry, vanilla and black cherry nose; concentrated, ripe cassis and plum palate; medium-plus finish  94 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous and RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Ridge

Producer website | Wikipedia

Ridge Vineyards is a California winery specializing in premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay wines. Ridge produces wine at two winery locations in northern California. The original winery facilities are located at an elevation of 2,300 feet (700 m) on Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA near Cupertino, California. The other Ridge winery facilities are at Lytton Springs in the Dry Creek Valley AVA of Sonoma County.

Red Bordeaux Blend

Read about the grapes used to produce Bordeaux The variety Red Bordeaux Blend in CellarTracker implies any blend using any or all of the five traditional Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. As such, this is used worldwide, whether for wines from Bordeaux, Meritages from California and Canada, some Super-Tuscan wines etc.

Monte Bello

On weinlagen-info

USA

WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!

California

California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Santa Cruz Mountains

Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association | Wikipedia

Once referred to by wine writers as the Chaine d'Or -- or "golden chain" -- the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA sits above Silicon Valley, running along the craggy range next to the Pacific on some of the prettiest parts of Northern California. The area supports more than 75 wineries, despite being limited by geography and high land prices.

In 1981 the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Appellation became federally recognized, one of the first American viticultural areas to be defined by geophysical and climatic factors. The appellation encompasses the Santa Cruz Mountain range, from Half Moon Bay in the north, to Mount Madonna in the south. The east and west boundaries are defined by elevation, extending down to 800 feet in the east and 400 feet in the west.

 
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