0800 280 2440
Ridge Vineyards makes wines that compete in terms of quality and desirability with Bordeaux First Growths and Grand Cru White Burgundies. Winemaker Paul Draper has crafted 43 vintages at Ridge and his practical, hands-off approach to winemaking has resulted in an exceptional and highly sought-after range of wines. Although a vineyard was first planted near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1885, it lay abandoned until four Stanford Research Institute engineers bought it in 1959. Ridge Vineyards was formed in 1962 and Paul Draper was appointed as winemaker in 1969. After stunning the world by their triumph in the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting, Ridge Vineyards shot to fame and gained cult status almost overnight.
Since then, Ridge has concentrated on producing fine Bordeaux blends and Chardonnays from Monte Bello's exalted terroir as well as renowned Zinfandels from the Lytton Springs and Geyserville vineyards in Sonoma County. Ridge's ethos is simple: 100% dedication in the vineyards to grow the most concentrated and flavoursome grapes followed by 100% dedication in the winery with minimum intervention to draw all the fruit's natural richness into the wine. Paul Draper has studiously dedicated himself to employing traditional Old World methods in the creation of his wines, resulting in silky smooth reds with fine tannins and glorious fruit. The wines are racked and fined but remain unfiltered so as not to lose any character before being matured in new American oak barrels. Ridge Monte Bello, once pure Cabernet, has been a Cabernet-dominated blend since 1975 with varying quantities, depending on the vintage, of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc to add complexity to the final wine. The Monte Bello Chardonnay, arguably California's most respected white wine, is elegantly structured and rivals the finest White Burgundy Grand Crus. Since 1972 Ridge has also specialised in top-quality Zinfandel blends from the Lytton Springs and Geyserville vineyards in Sonoma County and in 1979 the Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet blend joined the range to offer a softer, earlier drinking companion to the famed Monte Bello.
Make a bid
Ridge’s 2012 Proprietary Red Geyserville is a blend of 71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignan, 7% Petite Sirah and the rest Mourvédre and Alicante Bouchet. It exhibits a dark ruby/plum color, loads of berry fruit intermixed with earth, pepper and spice, and good freshness as well as precision. This sensual, spicy 2012 can be consumed over the next 5-6 years. 91/100 Robert M. Parker, eRobertParker.com #215 Oct 2014
Case price (12)
Case saving £34.56
H/Bottle 12 x 37.5cl
Bottle 12 x 75cl
A blend of 74% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignan and 2% Mataro (Mourvèdre), the 2013 Lytton Springs is a sexy, plump and gorgeously rich effort that has lots of bramble, plums, violets and licorice on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, deep, rich and concentrated, it has a solid kick of tannin and will benefit from short term cellaring. 15-20 years of longevity isn’t out of the question here. This was a terrific set of wines from Ridge. The 2012 Bordeaux releases all have brilliant purity of fruit, with surprising freshness and focus. They’ll need short term cellaring to be approachable, especially the Monte Bello. The 2013s are similar in style to the 2012s, with tight, fresh profiles and solid tannic grip. 92/100 Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate October 2015 The 2013 Lytton Springs has really come together over the last year, far exceeding my early expectations. Powerful and explosive in the glass, the 2013 boasts tons of inky blue/purplish fruit, mocha, spices, new leather, lavender and licorice. Readers will have to give the Lytton Springs at least a few years to shed some baby fat, but it is nearly impossible to resist, even at this early stage. Once again, the team at Ridge has produced an absolutely compelling Lytton Springs. The 16% Petite Sirah in the blend adds an unmistakable air of gravitas. 95/100 Antonio Galloni Vinous Media, July 2015
Case price (12)
Case saving £39.60
The 2013 Chardonnay Estate possesses waxy and buttery citrus characteristics along with green apple, pear, pineapple, wet stone overtones. Citrus fruit on entry, lemon zest, lively acid, elegant texture; lingering crushed-rock mineral finish. The grapes were selected from seven parcels, which were whole-cluster pressed and barrel-fermented as separate lots. During malolactic, the lees were stirred twice a month for added complexity. Fresh and wonderfully aromatic, this fine chardonnay shows the elegance of firm acidity. It will be at its best over the next six to eight years.
The 2011 Merlot Estate is gorgeous. A blast of dark red and black stone fruits melds into a more typical expression of mountain fruit, with savory herb and floral notes that develop in the glass. A kick of bracing 2011 acidity supports a finish laced with iron, smoke, leather and spices. There is plenty to like in this accessible Merlot from Ridge. 92/100 Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, July 2014 Ridge’s high-elevation vineyards grew a soft, appetizing merlot in 2011, subtly floral in its aromas, plump and plum-fruited in the middle, mountain tannins tightening at the end. Built to drink in the new few years with a flank steak. 90/100 Wine & Spirits Magazine, Oct 2014 Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, black cherry fruit aroma with herbal notes and hints of black olive and tobacco leaf; medium-full body; tight, herbal, black cherry fruit flavors with firm structure and good depth; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Developed nicely with airing in the glass and should reward another three to five more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended. 90/100 Californian Grapevine, Vol 40, Nov 2014
Case price (12)
Case saving £49.20
A wine of great balance, finesse and grace. Well-focused, the ripe, tart, rich blackberry and currant fruit is intense yet elegant, picking up earth, mineral and sage notes, and finishing with fine, well-integrated tannins (Wine Spectator, June 00)
Case price (6)
Case saving £74.04
Bottle 6 x 75cl
A brilliantly focussed, classical Cabernet blend, approaching the moment when the fruit will blossom into the multi-layered complexity of a great Monte Bello. Decant well in advance of serving. "A wine of great balance, finesse and grace. Well-focused, the ripe, tart, rich blackberry and currant fruit is intense yet elegant, picking up earthy, mineral and sage notes, and finishing with fine, well-integrated tannins. Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2012." 92/100 pts. (Wine Spectator - Oct 2002)
Case price (6)
Case saving £93.24
The 2004 Monte Bello (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) reveals a similar dark ruby/purple color, but it is not as thick looking as the 2003 or 2005. A lighter, more elegant example of Monte Bello, the finesse-styled 2004 does not possess the power one normally sees in this wine. It offers pure fruit, a pretty, St.-Julien-like style, notes of cedar, spice box, herbs, background oak, and red as well as black currants, and silky tannin. It is capable of lasting 15-20 years. Ridge’s iconic Monte Bello Proprietary Red (no longer called Cabernet Sauvignon) is one of the candidates for the longest-lived Bordeaux blend made in California. Even vintages from the late sixties and early seventies are still vibrant wines. The winery owns just over 100 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines, and production varies enormously based on the mountain climate. With respect to this group of wines, the smallest yields were achieved in 2005, and the highest in 2007. The selection process here is relatively severe. For their Monte Bello, the flagship wine, 32% of the production was used in 2003, 38% in 2004, 49% in 2005, 39% in 2006, and 41% in 2007. These wines continue to be anomalies in the sense that the Cabernet Sauvignon component is aged in American oak, a somewhat contrarian procedure since most top producers long ago moved to French oak. The Santa Cruz Mountains cuvees, essentially a second wine culled out from Monte Bello, are also high quality efforts from Ridge. Each of the vintages I tasted reflects the vintage conditions in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 91/100 Robert M. Parker Wine Advocate #187 Feb 2010
Case price (6)
Case saving £129.24
This impressive 2006 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (71%), Merlot (27%) and a handful of Petit Verdot (2%) to impart a touch of exotic spice. This is an extremely concentrated wine with powerful aromas and an expansive palate bursting with black forest fruit, mocha, juniper and sweet spice flavours, whilst fine tannins provide impeccable structure. As perfectly demonstrated by the recent rerun of the Judgement of Paris, this wine should age for a further thirty years or so.
Case price (3)
Case saving £91.44
Magnum 3 x 150cl
A great vintage for a perennially high class ‘Californian Cabernet’ has produced a wine of intense colour with ripe, dark fruit, well balanced tannins and a lovely seductive sweetness at the finish. Jancis Robinson goes so far as to describe it as “almost Lafite like in its raciness”.
From a terrific vintage, as evidenced by the tightly coiled, brilliantly intense, exhilarating raspberry red & cranberry aromas of this Cabernet Sauvignon 58% & Merlot 42% blend from the lofty Santa Cruz Mountain AVA south of San Francisco. The ride is equally gripping on the palate, which is decked out with pure, crunchy & pacy red & blackcurrant fruit. Drinking now till 2015, scintillating. To match with roast lamb. (David Berry-Green - BBR Buyer)