Good bye/by/buy Ridge Monte Bello

Oh damn, that hurts.

I started on the allocation list for the 2013 vintage, it’s gone up nearly 60% since then!

I joined in 2020 and this is my first allocation, 4x750.


I’m sure Ridge is fine with that outcome. Getting new members to buy three estate wines for four bottles of MB is a much better financial outcome than having old members buy no estate wines and a ton of MB.


I’d guess part of this effort is to get more people the top wine directly rather than seeing it get flipped on WineBid, etc. Which is probably also a big reason for the continued steep rate of price increases. Their wines are going for very strong premiums in the after markets in just a few years after release.

I think the customer base was smaller and more devoted to the product in the past. Now its catching the eyes of those that trade more often. Just look at how many people have been jumping into the list in the last few years just in this thread alone. This was all inevitable of course.

Not advocating for any part of all this. Just pointing out the game Ridge is now in and that its reactions are not really all that surprising.

I’ve had the MB membership since around 2016. Prior to that I was on the Z-List, but dropped off that a few years ago. Living near the winery really makes it an easy call. No shipping costs, multiple free tastings a year and invites to events with food and wine at no cost. I have probably been to about 15 events over the last 8 years, and would be more but for Covid. We were just there a week and half ago for a sit down tasting and it was great, but did not taste Monte Bello.

I actually am a huge fan of Ridge Chardonnay as is my wife and don’t see it as a penalty to have to buy some estate wines. This year I swapped out my Cab and Merlot for 3 Chardonnay. Did not love the 2021 as much as 18 and 19 though, which I thought were outstanding and I still have several of each. My wife only drinks Chardonnays that start with R’s it seems, Rochioli, Rivers Marie and Ridge.

If I did not live nearby, I am pretty sure I would drop off though. My allocation was 4 375 and 2 750 for 2022. Smaller 750 allocation than some prior years.

I really disagree with those complaining about allocations being trimmed. In the previous two vintages, they kept allocations the same, and set a line that cut some customers to zero. I thought then that it would make more sense to trim back everyone’s allocations to include more total customers. I’m in the same boat as many who had a 6 bottle allocation trimmed to 4. I’ll survive lol.


My allocation was cut in half across the board. I’m ok with it. Half is better than zero and I was contemplating trimming my order Qty down anyway as the pricing continues to rise. They pulled me off the fence and made the decision for me.

So much wine to drink, explore, taste and share and so little time.



There should at least be someone at Ridge monitoring not to cut the 40 year long relationships!

Depends on what view you take on that…

I use the futures for magnums (as I’m still relatively young?) and happy I get to keep my 2 magnum allocation this year

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Too bad. We’ve been drinking the very early 2000 MBs which have been stellar. Futures then were $65.

My allocation was same as yours to begin and cut the same as well. At least we got some! Love the mags!

I dropped this year, maybe folks that want will get chance to grab more


Maybe one of the stupidest things I have done in wine is to have failed to buy the MB on a regular basis. And if it took buying a few bottles of the estate cab, so what?

Compared to anything in the quality range these wines are bargains. They are classically styled and age wonderfully.

Had lunch last month with the Drapers and friends from overseas. Paul brought the '70. It was fabulous.
How many makers of $500 cult wines could bring a wine older than 1990??


I’m with Alan on this. 20 years plus collecting MB, 6 bottle trimmed to 4, I have enough to last me (and probably my son!).

Also note that for quite awhile new customers couldn’t get the huge allocations some of the really old-timers get. (My first vintage as a Collector was '03, btw.) At some later point they notified us the then current offering would be our maximum allocation (as in, last chance to up it.)

As others said, it’s an agricultural product. You can’t even count on a harvest every year.

The winery is allocating Monte Bello to retail, tasting room, Collectors and their library. Tough choices all around in an unusually low volume vintage. Are they supposed to leave valuable retail accounts that sell large volumes of their other wines with nothing?

Here’s text from the actual email:

As a long-time Monte Bello Collector member, we are pleased to offer you an allocation for the extremely limited 2022 vintage of Monte Bello. Due to limited yields in the vineyard in 2022, we have reduced the maximum allocation for the current futures offering. We hope to be able to return you to your desired allocation quantity with future vintages.

My oldest vintage is 2008 so I am guess I have been buying for close to 20 years, always 6x750. Got cut from 6 to 4 this year and came here to check what allocations were like.

It seems like new members haven’t gotten mb allocation for 2 years while buying estate wines, and this would be the third, so they spread the pain around this year. I think it’s fine and quite fair.


I’ve been on the “collector” list for two years, sans allocation, buying the estate wines. This year my number came up, and I got my very first MB allocation of four bottles. So, thanks to at least two of you long-time collectors who got bumped down from six to four bottles - your sacrifices made my allocation possible!


As one of those newer subscribers who just got their first allocation, I think this + the take that they probably let people oversubscribe to the MB list are the fairest.

They don’t want to lose all of us that signed up and have bought the estate wines without any MB, but they probably shouldn’t have let us all on in the first place.

Yeah I would be pretty upset if I keep buying the estate wine and get no mb for 3 years in a row.

This wine is worth the wait and long term aging.

Even the estate cab ages well. Drinking my 2010/11 now.

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2022 MB checking in at $175. Ouch.

I guess it’s okay since I only got 4 bottles allocated…

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