As with the garage wines of Bordeaux, the California cult wines are not a serious part of the fine wine industry.
The Spousal Unit and I were married 6 years ago (today!), and we’ve purchased wines from the 2005 vintage to drink on our anniversaries (out to 25 years, at least). Six bottles of the 2005 Ridge Monte Bello are the cornerstone of this collection. Because we purchased them on futures, we were able to attend the barrel tasting for the 2005.
Paul Draper, a national treasure of winemaking, was behind a table, pouring. And he was standing there alone, with nobody at the table talking to him. I asked him some dumb question about how the 2005 was likely to evolve in the barrel, and he replied graciously. I’m honored to have had a glass poured by him.