California Vineyard Series: Monte Rosso

ABOUT THE VINOUS CALIFORNIA VINEYARD SERIES Since 2015 we have been working on a large-scale project to map the vineyards of California. To date, we have published seven regional Napa Valley maps and have several more in the works, including a five-map set of Sonoma Valley and map of the Santa Lucia Highlands, both of which are nearly finished. Although travel restrictions related to COVID-19 have delayed final, on-the-ground checks that are such an essential part of the quality control process, we are eager to share our work and show you a little bit of what we have been up to through this series of excerpts that kicks off with a look at Pagani Ranch. MONTE ROSSO Few vineyards in California are as evocative as Monte Rosso. Known for producing wines of extraordinary character and longevity, Monte Rosso (‘red mountain’) is every bit as magical as its name suggests. The first Monte Rosso wine I remember tasting was a Cabernet Sauvignon from Ed Sbragia about ten years ago. It was so distinctive, and so incredibly different from the Napa Valley Cabernets I was used to. That was my first real introduction to Sonoma Cabernet. I was immediately hooked. Later, I had the opportunity to taste many Martini wines from the 1950s and 1960s that told the story of a remarkable place. Monte Rosso is located in the Moon Mountain AVA, which itself is contained within the larger Sonoma Valley AVA that develops on the western side of the Mayacamas Mountains. For reference, Napa Valley’s Mt. Veeder AVA lies just on the other side of the Mayacamas Mountains. The entrance of the ranch sits at about 700 feet above sea level and then winds up to nearly 1,300 feet. On a clear day Monte Rosso provides stunning views of the San Pablo Bay and San Francisco. Emanuel Goldstein and Benjamin Dreyfus, partners in a grocery business in San Francisco, first developed the property in the late 1880s. They called their vineyard Mount Pisgah, although locals referred to it as the Goldstein Ranch. The first 75 acres of vineyards went into the ground in 1886. That same year work on a winery was completed. Even today, Monte Rosso remains an incredibly rugged site. It is nearly impossible to imagine how the land was developed given the tools and transportation that were available at the time. Louis Martini, a buyer of fruit, bought the ranch in 1938 and made numerous wines that still bear testament to the pedigree of the land. The Martini family sold their Louis M. Martini Winery and Monte Rosso to E. & J. Gallo Winery in 2002. --Antonio Galloni, California Vineyard Series: Monte Rosso, December 2020 To read more about Monte Rosso and take a look at the Monte Rosso map block by block, check out the full article on Vinous now. Check out Pagani Ranch here .

Amapola Creek

Monte Rosso Vineyards Zinfandel 2014

Perfect for BBQ. Big dense and well balanced. One of the best zins I've had in a long time! — 3 years ago

Shay, David and 4 others liked this

Louis M. Martini

Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

100% Cab Sauv from Sonoma and its a beauty. Aged for 27 months in about 80% new oak, majority French, with a bit of American oak. Aromas of black fruit, spice and cedar. On the palate flavors of blackberry, blueberry and currants with notes of licorice, tobacco and cacao. Great mouthfeel (high alcohol), full-bodied, ripe big tannins, well balanced on long lingering finish ending with smoky earthy character. Wow!! — 4 years ago

Shay, Paul and 2 others liked this

Bedrock Wine Co.

Monte Rosso Sonoma Valley Zinfandel 2013

Delicious! Smooth and lighter than expected. Brambly fruit, juicy berries, sweet oak, pepper, dusty. — 7 years ago

Jenny Hemmer
with Jenny
Paul, Anthony and 2 others liked this

Carlisle Winery & Vineyards

Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2012

Ripe, smokey notes with black fruit and leather/tobacco. Smooth and silken belying its 15+ ABV. I find that 7-9 years is the sweet spot for Carlisle. Dark, inky, still balanced and fruit-driven. Zin works so well with med rare filets and gruyere gratin. Kudos to Mike Officer for the finesse and understatement. — 3 years ago

Bryan, Shay and 8 others liked this

Sbragia Family Vineyards

Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Spectacular moon mountain cab. I love Cabernet Sauvignon from this AVA. Good minerals and fantastic fruit on the palette. This is fantastic now and would age well in the bottle for a few more years. If you see this, grab it! — 5 years ago

David, Shay and 1 other liked this


Riserva Il Falcone Castel del Monte Rosso 2008

David Singer

Old favorite and delicious. Dusty red plums, licorice, ferric soil, spiced wood, old tobacco. Italian tannin but approachable, solid length. — 8 years ago

Roman and Jose liked this

Seghesio Family Vineyards

Monte Rosso Zinfandel 2014

So great. Loads of ground, smoky sandstone, ripe blackberry, maple syrup. Rich, structured, so good, so balanced. My favorite Zin plot of land. — 4 years ago

Severn, Josh and 9 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

Severn Goodwin Influencer Badge Premium Badge

MR is the best Zinfandel site IMHO.
Tom Casagrande

Tom Casagrande Influencer Badge

@Severn Goodwin - Agree. Howell Mtn. a close second.

Bedrock Wine Co.

Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel 2014

A truly stunning Zinfandel. Juicy, fleshy blackberry and blueberry fruit. Lovely purple flower and wild herb aromas, licorice, black pepper and mint flavors. Very lively on the palate with wonderful acidity and impressive freshness. Oak is beautifully integrated and tannins are very elegant yet firm. The complexity and length of the finish are phenomenal. One of the finest and most memorable Zinfandel I’ve had in a long time. — 5 years ago

P and Arden liked this

Robert Biale Vineyards

Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel

Classic structured Monte Rosso Zin — 8 years ago

Severn and Eric liked this