2014 Monte Bello Futures

Finally eclipsed the 3 digit mark. $105 per 750.

Sad, sad day.

Not in the least bit surprised. How did you hear? I haven’t received an email yet.

A sad day indeed.

$7 bump over last year, something about the century mark on this hurts.

Is it just me or have the price increases become a bit more rapid over the last few years?

Haven’t received any email either…

I don’t drink a lot of cab, so this may be it for me. I don’t begrudge them the increase, but just not worth it to me.

From the website:

2014 Monte Bello Futures Pricing
(subject to change with each vintage)

375ml - $55
750ml - $105
1.5L - $213
3L - $500
6L - $1000

I’ll still buy. My favorite CA wine. But wasn’t this just $85 three years ago, or something like that?

I’m going to a Montebello component tasting and picking up the 2012 which was $95.00 per bottle. Looking at their brethren I do not find the increase immodest.

I was playing around on their website when I noticed the pricing had been published. 105 is right on the edge for me. I’ll still buy this year, but any additional increases will render me out of the MB Futures program. It’s getting eerily close to what retail release prices are from local retailers. Who knows, maybe the release price will go up the same percentage.

$105 is close to retail near you? Great local pricing. We will be at least $150, probably $160

Usually can find it at 125 to 130 6 months after release (if it doesn’t get a huge score)

I was afraid of this. I’ll stay in for at least another year or two, if for no other reason than I’m not positive I won’t need another pair of birth year Monte Bellos. But this is getting steep compared to what I’m seeking with this buy.

I’m not saying MB isn’t a good deal given the quality, and a maybe there’s still a sweet spot 6 months or so after release, but a quick check for 2009-2011s (cheapest US price, before shipping, is $140, and there aren’t a ton options) tells me that the deals one used to see are, at a minimum, short-lasting. As more people drink high-end wine, and the economy continues to improve, albeit more on the top end, Ridge is hardly the only tariff that’s gone up.

For me, the issues is MB’s not as good a deal as it was, understanding they get the money 2 years in advance, the wine is not scarce and, regardless of the “If you decrease or stop your participation” warning, I tend to doubt this will be an issue any time soon.

You’re not going to find another cab blend with MB’s history for $98, or $105, $110, etc., and trying to match the quality at those prices will be, at best, a challenge. But there are less pleasant challenges out there, and I’m trying to resign myself to saying good bye more often—it’s the least evil compared to spending ever more on wine or drinking it less.

Hard to imagine this is driven by the secondary market as it seems only the 01 & 05 are really way up there compared to release pricing. some really good MB vintages: 04, 07, 10 doing little in terms of real growth.

Anyone know the general production (in cases) for MB?

COLA! Cost of living adjustments, and the fact that Monte Bello is atop one of the most highly valued real estate in the US, makes it hard to pay what a normal agricultural wage would be for most wineries.

Not quite sure how the land value of MBRidge leads directly to high agricultural wages, Josh, other than there’s not a lot of cheap labor there in the SiliconVlly area.

In point of fact, the higher-ups at Ridge (Paul/Mark) take very/very good care of their people, across the board. If you look around the vnyd, all the way from Jimsomare
to the very top of TheRidge, you’ll see several scatterings of dwellings where Ridge houses many of their full-time vnyd workers. Kids scattered here & about.
All the higher-ups are fluent in Spanish and they treat all the workers w/ a great deal of deference & equality. And it’s not just the (mainly) Hispanic vnyd workers,
but the folks pouring in the tasting rooms and the folks on-line in their cubicles down in the Milpitas warehouse and the folks topping barrels and dragging hoses in the wnry.
Ridge is one of the wineries that really/do get it when it comes to their employees.

A number of yrs ago, I was invited to the retirement ceremony Ridge held for their longest-time vnyd foreman (Eluario). A huge lunch, mostly Mexican food, was prepared
for all of Eluario’s friends & relatives & fellow vnyd workers (some of whom travelled up from Mexico). Paul gave a very moving tribute to him in Spanish for all of his
hard work over the yrs. Kids running all over the place…it was just like a family gathering. Us gringos were in the minority. One of my greatest experiences ever
up on TheRidge.
They had a table set up out in the side yard under that huge tree covered w/ btls of Tequila & mixes. Man…you wouldn’t believe the amount of Tequila
that went down that day.

Did anyone taste 2014? For me this is an easy pass, paid 99€/bt here in EU last year. With the new $/€ rate this is too expensive

These were $85 for the 2010 vintage, damn near a 25% bump over 5 vintages is moderately aggressive.

I’m not sure if you’re insinuating that I was implying that Ridge is a bad employer, I am not. You answered your own question, there is not cheap labor for the AVA. Santa Cruz is nothing like the other regions of California, in the way of available laborers, and their cost of living. Even if they have employee housing, those families will need products which are priced at a national high.

I am a fan of the wines, I was just at the Lytton Springs location two weeks ago. I’m happy to hear they treat their people right since I purchase their products.

20 % over 5 years is actually moderate by today standards

$85 for 10 to $105 for 14 is well under a lot of wineries, look at wines like Shafer Relentless that goes up $10 a year, Booker just had a single $15 jump