A true gem, the 2013 Chardonnay Monte Bello, which was barrel fermented and aged 17 months in mostly American oak, offers sensational notes of white peach, citrus blossom, mint, ginger and baking spices. It’s a big, rich wine, yet it never puts a foot wrong, is impeccably balanced and stays fresh, pure and focused. Drink it anytime over the coming decade or more. (JD)
The 2013 Chardonnay Monte Bello is exceptional. Rich, layered and creamy, the 2013 exudes depth. Readers will have to wait at least a few years before the 2013 hits its stride, but all the elements are in the right place. Yellow orchard fruit, mint, sweet spices and flowers are all fused together in an exceptional, racy Chardonnay loaded with class and personality. Today, the 2013 is a total knock-out. The 2,000 case production for the Monte Bello Chardonnay is a record high for Ridge. This is an absolutely stellar set of wines from Ridge. For starters, Ridge enjoyed what I can only describe as a sensational vintage in 2013, especially for the Bordeaux varieties. The Cabernet Estate and Monte Bello are both exceptional, while a number of wines in the Historic Vineyard series are compelling. Zinfandel fans will find much to like in the 2014s, a vintage that produced super-elegant wines. Of course, the biggest news at Ridge is Paul Draper's retirement, but then again, that has been in the works for so long that it was hardly a surprise when it was formally announced earlier this summer. As one of the foremost ambassadors of American wine, Draper leaves behind a rich legacy at Ridge going back to 1969 and a team that is more than capable of leading the winery into the next generation. (AG)
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