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One of the most iconic California wines is Ridge Monte Bello. It is a Cabernet Sauvignon that needs little explanation. It is a wine that is admired and enjoyed and I had the privilege to sit down for a tasting of eight vintages at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, as I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and you can read here. ************* Ridge Monte Bello is considered “the most internationally admired producer of American Cabernet Sauvignon” by the Oxford Companion to Wine.
Since 1962, Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello has been garnering recognition, from placing fifth at the 1976 Judgement of Paris to receiving four 100-point scores from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. So, when I had the opportunity to sit down and taste wines spanning five decades of this historic vineyard at Pebble Beach Food & Wine, I did not hesitate.
Ridge Vineyards’ Monte Bello is an iconic California wine. However, is it also one of the most unusual. For one thing, it is not from Napa Valley, or any other marquee regions, but rather the remote Santa Cruz Mountains. In fact, it is the wine that defines the Santa Cruz Mountains.
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Barolo. Just saying the name sounds important. It sounds regal. It sounds strong. When I lived in the Piemonte area in Italy shortly after college, I knew very little, if anything, about wine. But on the table at every meal, I was drinking Dolcetto and Barbera on a daily basis. It was on special occasions that my friends would pull out a bottle of Barolo. I did not have the vocabulary to describe wine. But I knew that this was a special wine.
At Pebble Beach Food and Wine, a panel of sommeliers lead a discussion of Barolo as we sat down for a tasting of the Giacomo Borgogno wines from 1967 to 2010. Founded in 1761, Giacomo Borgogno is the father of Barolo, the original Barolo producer. He was the first to put the local wine into a bottle and commercialize it, beginning the legacy. The Borgogno family managed the estate for 247 years until 2008 when they sold it to the Farinetti family and a new evolution for the winery began.
Barolo has always been a classic wine, considered one of the best. The name implies a big, bold wine, but in the glass, the lack of a deep color contradicted this.