Posts Tagged ‘2004 monte bello chardonnay’

Final Assemblage @RidgeVineyards

May 19, 2012

Guess where I was this past Saturday…


The view should give you a clue, foo.

That’s right!

Kara and I went to Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello (2600 feet above Cupertino) for the 2011 Monte Bello Final Assemblage Event.  This is the last chance to get a barrel sample of the 2011 juice before it’s bottled up.

So let’s quit with the yappin’, and get our taste on.


At check-in we got ourselves a splash of the Ridge 2010 Estate Chardonnay. It was tasty as ever.

I was very stoked to find out that before we got to taste those iconic Bordeaux blends, we would be given a vertical of Monte Bello Chardonnays.  Check it!


Ridge 2007 Monte Bello Chardonnay:  Loaded with creamy green apple and pear notes.


Ridge 2006 Monte Bello Chardonnay:  More gold in color than the 07. More creamy notes. More spice. More, please!


Ridge 2004 Monte Bello Chardonnay:  These Chardonnays are fantastic when young, but age also treats these wines well. The creaminess of the 04 gives way to a nice acidity. This Chardonnay is rocking green apple for days.

After the Chards, it was time to check in on the reds…


Ridge 2011 Monte Bello (Final Assemblage Barrel Sample):  Our final taste of the 2011 Monte Bello was poured by the legend, Paul Draper (Winemaker at Ridge since the 60’s). I asked him if there were any additions to the wine for the final assemblage. He told me that this was one of the rare occasions where there were barely any additions. There is a touch more Cabernet Sauvignon (bumped up from 87 to 88%), but that’s it.
As in my past sampling notes, there’s a great toffee coffee nose and taste to this, along with blackberries, plums, and a dope acidity.
The bomb.


Ridge 1981 Monte Bello: There’s something magical about drinking a wine that is 31 years old. There’s something crazy about a wine that was made when I was three.
Bricking ruby-red in color, with hints of copper at the rim.
Nose of tobacco, clove, orange, and raspberry.
Taste of tobacco, tomato skin, leather, and raspberry.
Tannins are still powdery smooth.
This wine is in the sweet spot right now!

From the barn to the tasting room, the hits just kept on a-comin’…


Ridge 2006 Monte Bello: It’s like blueberry pie. The goods!


Ridge 1994 Monte Bello: My older sister graduated from San Lorenzo Valley High School in Felton, California with a GPA well above 4.0. She was valedictorian of her class. This Monte Bello is loaded with raspberry and blackberry fruit. There’s some good notes of tobacco and leather. Great balance of acid.
Much like my sister, this wine is a overacheiver from the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Oh, Ridge Vineyards…

Why are you so good to me?

Stay Rad,



It’s all good: A two day extravaganza @ #RidgeVineyards

July 6, 2011

Chillin' on the Ridge.

I’m just gonna say it.

Somebody has to.

It may as well be me.

Ridge Vineyards is the raddest winery in the history of all that is awesome.

A couple of months back, after visiting their Monte Bello tasting room in Cupertino, Kara and I decided to become members.  The membership allows us free tasting, discounts on wine, and the ability to buy futures of their Monte Bello at a DEEP discount.  One of the really neat things we’ve discovered since joining Ridge is how many cool members-only events we get to take part in.  Recently we were able to go to two different events on back-to-back days.

Here’s the rundown…

July 1st: First Friday at Monte Bello

During the summer season, the Monte Bello tasting room will serve a special flight to club members on the first Friday of each month.  Although Ridge is most known for their zinfandel and Bordeaux blends, for July, they offered a vertical tasting of chardonnay.

Who says white wine can't age?

The tasting consisted of the 2003 and 2004 vintages of the Monte Bello Chardonnay, as well as the 2005 and 2006 vintages of the Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Charonnay.  The great part about this tasting was seeing just how well chardonnay can age.  The two Monte Bellos were very much smooth and balanced.  They both had really nice acidity.  The 2005 Estate was a crowd-pleasing chardonnay with a beautiful creamy finish.  The 06 Estate had this amazing smell of figs, but the taste did not live up to the nose.  The winner of this throwdown was…

The 2003 Monte Bello Chardonnay. Class in a glass.

After the chardonnay vertical, I had a hankering for a zinfandel and a picnic.  Now, if you’re talking zins, Ridge has ’em.  Based on a recommendation, we got a bottle of this bad boy…

Ridge 2007 Carmichael Zinfandel and a picnic.

This zin had a nice spice and ripe fruit, without being too jammy.  It was a great way to cap off the day…


Seeing this thing on the road on the way back was pretty cool too…

If my car were just a little bit smaller, I'd have tried to drive under this thing.

July 2nd:  Zins, Blends & BBQ

For an early 4th of July celebration, the next day, Ridge offered barbecue paired with many of their fine wines.  Here’s what we had…

Check in with a glass of 2009 Mikulaco Chardonnay. Don't mind if I do.

2009 Geyserville paired with a bomb ass North Carolina Pulled Pork sandwich.

2006 Mazzoni Home Ranch with Kansas City Baby Back Ribs and a bunch of forks.

2007 Lytton Estate Zinfandel w/ California Tri Tip and Blue Cheese Potato Salad. Yum!

I found this 2008 York Creek Zinfandel hiding in the corner with Texas Beef Brisket. This York Creek has become one of my favorite zins in the Ridge collection.

After these pairings, there were three more wines for us to try in the main tasting room…

"Would you like to try our 2009 Jimsomare Chardonnay?" "Does a bear poo in the woods?"

The 2009 Buchignani Carignane. So nice, I had it twice... You'll see.

2006 Lytton Estate Syrah done in the true Côte-Rôtie style with 8% viognier.

We were such fans of the Buchignani Carignane that we got another bottle to have with our picnic leftovers from the day before.

I told you.

And there you have it!

13 wines.

4 barbecue dishes.

2 picnics.

1 dope time.

The shadows of Kara and JeffIsRad on the Ridge.

Stay Rad,


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