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 Vintage1985 Label 1 of 67 
ProducerRidge (web)
VarietyRed Bordeaux Blend
VineyardMonte Bello
SubRegionSan Francisco Bay
AppellationSanta Cruz Mountains

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2006 and 2023 (based on 9 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 93.8 pts. and median of 94 pts. in 57 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by dzop on 3/8/2015: Right on the edge of being corked - is the nose weedy, or musty? Regardless, this probably isn't right, but this is one of the only wines on the table that's not on the downslope, as it has a nice, full palate with fresh cassis and herbs. Shame about whatever was going on with the nose. (768 views)
 Tasted by coremill on 3/8/2015 flawed bottle: 30th Birthday Party (Amali): Lightly corked, which was a damn shame because this was clearly otherwise a tremendous wine. (902 views)
 Tasted by jtech on 10/25/2014: Clear.
Clean. Developed. Intense nose, rich fruits with a complex array of tertiary aromas. Elegant, seductive, but also fairly powerfull. With time and airation, the developed aromas emerges and takes away some of the sweet fruits. The acidity and tannins hamonizes with the body and mouthfeel of the wine. Ripe, fine tannins holds it together in a long lasting finish. A very good wine. (906 views)
 Tasted by petitblanc on 9/27/2014 & rated 92 points: Old Wine Offline; 9/26/2014-9/27/2014 (The Room Off the Patio at Ruth's Chris, and My House): Deep, fresh cherry color. Creamy oak and mineral nose, with a slightly green undertone. Ample oak and tannins on the palate. Classic Monte Bello, I just wish the fruit was more visible. Drink or hold. (1869 views)
 Tasted by Hodby on 9/19/2014 & rated 94 points: Medium red color, garnet-edged. Beautiful nose: bay leaf, green olive, strong primary fruit (cherry), oak spice (cinnamon, vanilla, pencil box), hint of juniper bush. On arrival, medium-low tannin and balanced acidity. Supple and rich in the mouth, in an ideal state for current drinking and yet there's a sense it could have hold many years more. Savory finish, slightly drying. Bottle #3 of four. (1768 views)
 Tasted by nortonnose on 4/23/2014 & rated 94 points: Tasted double blind (as it turns out, among 4 FR/4 CA in the 82-86 vintages), though I suspected this tasting was mostly Bdx(-blends). Was informed the wine was opened a couple hours in advance, and decanted about an hour. My early double blind notes: "awesome. super full, rich and lush, done in an elegant style." Implicit in that was that I believed most of what were drinking was French. So I was at least fooled in origin, but not intent! Looked, smelled and tasted younger than 1985; I had it pegged for 89-early 90s, as I did many of the other wines. This was fabulous and, in its own right, quite different than my last (very bottle variant!) tasting of this. Wonderful long finish. My #1 of 8 for WOTN (2268 views)
 Tasted by acidqueen on 2/9/2014 & rated 93 points: Perfectly ready to drink now. Smooth, fine, well integrated wood and berry flavors. Earthy, but not overly so. Tannins faded. Drink now, no reason to keep it longer. (2344 views)
 Tasted by Michael Moore on 2/6/2014 & rated 94 points: great wine........still drinking well (2207 views)
 Tasted by curtr on 12/25/2013: An off bottle. (1330 views)
 Tasted by M DU VIN on 12/22/2013 & rated 94 points: While this wine is fully mature and the tannins have nicely receded, I think that it still has many years of life left. Intense cabernet aromas. (1683 views)
 Tasted by Wine_lvr on 11/12/2013 & rated 91 points: American Belle 2nd Edition (Switzerland): Tasted blind: Mature red. Nose of malt, leather and coffee. Acidity and tannins are present. This specific bottle is unbalanced and not as good as other encounters I had with this wine. I suggest a sub optimal (not badly) stored bottle.. (1680 views)
 Tasted by nortonnose on 7/24/2013 & rated 94 points: Echoing Leve & Salil's comments below. This showed beautifully - significantly better than my first bottle. This one was upright for weeks in advance (does it help THAT much?!). PnP from VTS filled 750ml. Red fruit nose with hint of mint. Fruit was alive and well - purity; roundness of palate, along with lovely structure. In a great place now, but I imagine this is beginning its decline. A real treat - enjoy before 2018 (2192 views)
 Tasted by Frinkcorkz on 7/21/2013 & rated 92 points: Opened the 1985 and 1987 for a side by side tasting last weekend. The 1985 was a bit dull, possibly peaked. The 1987 was phenomenal. Complex and tasty. The clear winner. (1700 views)
 Tasted by salil on 6/24/2013 & rated 94 points: Superb; impeccably balanced, so polished and texturally refined, and drinking so well right now. It has a rather high toned minty/herbal fragrance leading into a palate full of ripe red and dark fruit that's framed by more savoury earthy, vanilla and cedary elements, and it's at the stage where the flavours and structural elements all seem to come into a single, seamless whole. (1961 views)
 Tasted by indiscriminate palate on 6/24/2013 & rated 94 points: Carrots & Chicken (Vernon, CT): This was very nice, with plenty of structure to age (med-high tannin, high acid) and the red and black cherry fruit to age with it. A beautiful showing now. Sweet fruit, tobacco, long finish. Excellent. My 2/7 (1939 views)
 Tasted by reichken on 5/28/2013 & rated 92 points: Cali Night @ Air St- med dark color, mint freshness on the nose, good earth dark red fruit, medium weight, medium length, first ridge of the night and it was a very nice bottle..I love drinking older ridge, really classic wine (1574 views)
 Tasted by nortonnose on 12/18/2012 & rated 91 points: Full disclosure: enormous MB fan. I recently bought 2 '84s & '85s (before which, I hadn't ever tasted older than '97) so, had huge hopes. Stood the bottle up for 30 mins, then attempted to PnP fr 750. Cork was bone dry and literally disintegrated. Poured into decanter (didn't have cheese cloth handy so, dealt with the small amount of schrapnel) and enjoyed with a buddy (no food). Ruby color, barely bricking. Impure appearance - rather cloudy. Slightly muted nose, of pleasant blackberry and hints of eucalyptus. Again, the adage of "there are only good bottles" at this age seemed to be telling the story. Wine was pretty astringent upon first tastes, but settled down after 30 min. Very round, soft primary bright red fruit - nice mouthfeel but only a medium finish. All in all, a lovely drink, but I certainly had higher hopes for this aged gem. Fingers crossed on the last one.....the ceiling remains high, obviously! (2268 views)
 Tasted by Jeff Leve on 10/18/2012 & rated 93 points: Drinking perfectly today, with a nose dominated by earth, dark red and black fruits, wood and tobacco, the wine was round, clean, fresh and pure, finishing with ripe red and black fruits. It's not the 1991, but it's a very nice example of a mature, traditional, California, Caberent Sauvignon. (2871 views)
 Tasted by mrener on 6/17/2012 & rated 95 points: Gift from my wife for Father's day. Open it same day!
Wine is amazing, deep color on the glass, but lighter aged color on boader of glass.
On the nose some nice sexy fresh red fruit and on the palate some acidity with a slight hint of orange.
This cab is aging superbly well. Residual acidity tells me wine will continue it age, but somehow I believe it might have reached its peak.
Drink now. (3075 views)
 Tasted by lepetitchateau on 4/18/2012 & rated 94 points: Huge eucalpytus on the nose - yum! Solid and complete wine but doesn't reach for the sky, remains earth-bound. Lovely. (3167 views)
 Tasted by Griffeyfan04 on 3/17/2012 & rated 95 points: This wine had a nice ruby center with a good amount of Amber coloring on the rim. Lots of sediment. After 15-30 minutes of air this began to come around nicely. The aroma began with tar, coffee and cedar, but with more time dried cherry and cranberries. This wine on the palate was very caressing and velvety, was a beautiful thing. More notes of bright red fruits and when your glass was almost empty you would get a heavy amount of an oily finish on your palate with almost no fruit hitting you, something I had never experienced with wine before. I read the label on the back of the wine and on there the winemaker notes stated that they feel they had "made a 25 year wine of superb quality". To that I say they were absolutely right! This wine was 25 years old from when it was bottled in 1987 and it was singing along well. If you have this drink it now. It is not going to improve. Not bad for $100 purchase :) (3221 views)
 Tasted by BradKNYC on 3/5/2012: Ridge- Monte Bello 1975-1991 (Beacon Restaurant): (93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 13.1% alc.)
A darker and less ebullient wine than the '84, it shows more of a classic Monte Bello profile of rich black currant and blackberry, with much more obvious oak, black olive and a more prominent herb character. It's a coarser and more tannic wine that could definitely use more time for the oak to become better integrated, to shed some tannins and to develop a little more complexity, but the fruit is plush and sweet, making it a quite enjoyable drink. A-. (3069 views)
 Tasted by green-steve on 3/3/2012 & rated 94 points: Our anniversary wine!Took about 15 minutes to open up and kept gaining strength over 2 hours. Garnet with some bricking; cherries, woodsy, herbal aromas; interesting palate, tart cherry, eucalyptus, cedar; fine tannins, nice acidity, long finish. Paired perfectly with grilled sirloin and mushroom risotto. (2413 views)
 Tasted by Matt Neel on 2/23/2012: Dinner at l'Artusi 2/23/2012 (West Village): Cherry red, touch of brick. Chalky, eucalyptus, green-state nose; as Sarah said, "air is not its friend," at least not in the first hour open. Palate medium bodied, tannic, simple cherry fruit, and aggressively acidic. The palate broadened and sweetened up much later in the evening. Decent, not great length. A bit of a "meh."

This was not a great showing for this wine, and didn't hold a candle to the '86 Josh, who also brought this wine tonight, opened a couple of weeks ago that was freaking epic. He thought this was still showing young; I am not so sure. I will say that I can imagine this wine showing completely differently in a different context. It was not short on character, it was just rather tight and strict. And ornery. (2939 views)
 Tasted by uberoh on 11/7/2011 & rated 97 points: likely one of the best aged california cab blends I have ever had (and I have had quite a few). Amazing power, fruit, structure and balance. Great complexity and most of all a delicious wine - was one of the real stars in an all star line up from arounf the world.... (3494 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (2/28/2014)
(Ridge, Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, September/October 2000, IWC Issue #92
(Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Red Blend) Subscribe to see review text.
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (6/17/2011)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Bricking medium garnet red color with pale meniscus; mature, appealing, tart plum, iodine, Bordeaux-like nose; tasty, mature, iodine, tart cassis, cedar, tart plum palate with fine grained tannins; long finish (most Bordeaux-like of our 11 vintage vertical; 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot)  95 points
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (3/11/2010)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Medium dark red violet color; nice menthol, eucalyptus, tart black fruit, "pondwater," currant nose; tasty, mature, tart plum, eucalyptus, menthol, black licorice palate with resolved, soft tannins; long finish  94 points
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (3/17/2009)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Dark red violet color with pale meniscus; mature, mushroom, black fruit, tobacco and charcoal nose; tasty, mature, black fruit palate with depth, mineral and charcoal; long finish  94 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of JancisRobinson.com and Vinous and RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)

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


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


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


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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