Santa Cruz Mountains, San Francisco Bay

Ridge Vineyards

Monte Bello Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2004

Shared with close friends - everyone’s first Monte Bello, and a great one at that.

Took this bottle out to share at a local fine dining establishment, to pour it blind for our friends. Wrapped neatly in foil. We get seated and explain to our waiter. “The bottle MAY be a little bit older so take care with the cork,” I said, not wanting to give away the age to our friends. He proceeds to break the cork about halfway down, right through. No big deal. He’s a younger guy and I think a little flustered, he goes off to get assistance.

Comes back with another server. As the guy walks back up, I say “Thanks for helping us with our mystery bottle”, clueing him in on the idea that there’s a reason that we have it wrapped in foil. “Would have been nice to know it was an older vintage wine,” he replied brusquely. Ok… Server 2 digs around for a bit with an ah-so before punching the cork into the drink. Oh well. None of us are really phased by this, it happens.

They grab a strainer from the bar. Server 2 starts pouring at a decanter and immediately the first glass or so just goes everywhere on the table. I start to die inside. He remains silent. Gets on target with the rest of the bottle, finishing pouring, and says “Your 2004 Ridge Cabernet”, purposefully ruining the blind tasting, I guess. Walks away without another word, leaving his mortified coworker to clean up his mess and apologize.

This actually happened. On to the wine:

Beautiful medium opacity ruby with no browning.

Smells like a Pauillac on the nose. Blackcurrants, blackberry, black licorice, slight graphite, and damp tobacco. As the night goes on it reveals dill, vanilla, buttered toast, and slight dry woodsy notes.

The wine is surprisingly light in body, very much a claret. The tannins are silky, finely woven, and extremely integrated. The main thing we notice on the palate is that the wine is so perfectly integrated it is a little difficult to pull individual notes out of it. Expansive over the palate without being weighty. The finish is forever.

A memorable evening.
— 5 days ago

Linh TongSarah Riley
with Linh and Sarah
Sarah, Shay and 2 others liked this

Kutch Wines

Trout Gulch Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

Fabulous. Trying to save some for years later, but tasty now! — 2 days ago

Rhys Vineyards

Alpine Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014

Prestigeläge i Santa Cruz från kultförklarad f.d garagevinmakare. Jäst med stjälkar. Tydligt utvecklad. Jordig karaktär och riktigt tilldragande doft. Bred i smaken. Syrliga bär men med mognad, oliver, blodapelsin, peppar, kaffesump, krossade stenar. Värd 899 kr = nja till ja. — 20 days ago

Fabian liked this

Ridge Vineyards

40th Anniversary Vintage Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 1992

Very special Monte Bello, best I’ve had, rich and layered with age, nose was redolent of old leather and soft spice, smokey red fruit. Silk on the palate. Finish never ended. Superb. Could go a few more years easily but cork (not the one pictured) required the Durand so likely drink soon. — 6 days ago

Diane, Shay and 26 others liked this
David L

David L Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Coming off the heels of the 91. This 92 is sensational. Cheers to you.

Big Basin Vineyards

Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah 2017

raspberry, blueberry, black cherry, blackberry, iron, blood, pepper, pencil shavings, briny black olive, alpine freshness, salinity. kinda green and snappy still. everything you want in a cooler climate syrah! — 3 days ago

Mount Eden Vineyards

Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Prior notes apply — 3 days ago

Erik, Tom and 30 others liked this
Scott Rose

Scott Rose Premium Badge

Oh hell yes. Almost opened this tonight.


Toyon Vineyard Chardonnay

Minerality, praline, citrus,and textural tannins. Has a few edges. Best Chard this year — 11 days ago

Mount Eden Vineyards

Domaine Eden Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Always solid. See previous notes. Green elements that were more integrated into the fruit. Medium depth. — 5 days ago

Brooke Weaver Jakubowski
with Brooke
Shay, Tom and 2 others liked this

Rhys Vineyards

Mt. Pajaro Vineyard Chardonnay 2013

Alder Yarrow

I recently made the carefully considered claim that there is no more exciting place for making California Chardonnay right now than the Santa Cruz Mountains - @santacruzmountainwine. Some of the most stellar bottles of the stuff are emerging from hidden nooks and crannies among the redwoods and steep, fog-shrouded slopes. This bottle (received as a press sample) is a perfect example. Lemon oil and lemon pith aromas give way to silky-textured lemon pith, lemon juice, pink grapefruit and this saline resinous quality that makes the mouth water excessively. Almost impossible not to follow one sip with another. Well done @rhys_vineyards. The vineyard gets it’s name from the Pajaro shale series that sits under a scant 16” of topsoil at 1000 feet of elevation. — an hour ago

Adriana liked this

Burrell School Vineyards

Graduate School of Management Santa Cruz Mountains GSM 2016

Deep purple color. Aromas of blackberry, blueberry and leather. Pretty good GSM from the Santa Cruz mountains. Bold dark fruit flavors, nice dry finish. — a month ago

Anthony, Sharon and 14 others liked this
Sharon B

Sharon B Influencer Badge

Nice color!