Review: 2008 Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay

By Duane Pemberton
Winery website:

Ridge Vineyards is known the world-over for producing exceptional Zinfandel but they also make wines from other varietals such as this Chardonnay as well as some red blends.

At a MSRP of $60, this is one of the more expensive, domestic Chardonnay’s I’ve tasted and while I know the price will put some folks off because it’s simply a “chardonnay” – like all wines at any price, we should taste them first before judging its value.

Review: 2008 Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay

Technical Data: 

  • Vineyard Source:  Monte Bello,
  • Bottled January 2010
  • 100% chardonnay
  • 14.1% alcohol by volume
  • Harvest Dates: 2 September – 8 September
  • Harvest Conditions: Average Brix 23.4°
  • Fermentation: Whole-cluster pressed. Juice aerated and racked to barrel for natural primary and secondary.
  • Selection: Two of the ten Monte Bello Vineyard chardonnay parcels
  • Barrels: 90% air-dried American oak (10% new, 66% one and two years, 24% three years old) & 10% French oak barrels.
  • Aging: Sixteen months in barrel
  • Price: $60

Nose: Ripe cantaloupe, cream soda, lightly-toasted marshmellow, honeydew, lemon peel, vanilla and toasted hazelnut.

Taste: Fresh melon salad with hints of vanilla, toasted nuts and lemon. superb mid-palate transition with a beautiful combination of acids and fruit. The finish is nearly sublime and easily one of the best “new-world” chardonnay’s I’ve had.

W.E.P. Rating: 95%