Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to a barrel tasting at Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino, California. Ridge is located near the top of Monte Bello Ridge up in the Santa Cruz Mountains – thus the current name of the winery, Ridge, and the name of their most special wine, Monte Bello. It was started in 1885 and made its first vintage in 1892 under the Monte Bello Winery label.
Here’s another great V. Sattui from the depths of the closet in the spare room. This Zinfandel is from the Gilsson Vineyard in the Russian River Valley whose climate is much cooler than other vineyards in the wine country thanks to the fog that rolls in from the Pacific ocean, making it a great place to grow Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Those wines from this region are well known and appreciated, but perhaps a more surprising success in these cooler climes is Zinfandel.
I bought this wine on a whim. It was reduced from £9.99 to £6.99 and I had never tasted the variety before, so I thought: why not?
Apparently Barbaresco and Barolo are two gems in the northern Italian winemaking region, little did I know! Both wines are made from the Nebbiolo grape which is grown in very few places across the globe, most of which are in northwest Italy. They’re said to generally be quite pricy and need to age for 10 to 30 years to be at their best, so I wasn’t quite sure what a five-year-old bottle under a tenner was going to offer.