• WA: 96

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    96

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  • WS: 83

    Wine Spectator Score

    83

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Montes Chardonnay Reserve 2001

Winemaker's Notes:

99 points Robert Parker: A resoundingly great effort from this iconic producer, Ridge's 2001 is a spectacular, still young but promising wine. Interestingly, 60% of the production from the winery's 108 acre Monte Bello Vineyard made it into the 2001's final blend (their 40th anniversary, by the way). The unusual blend is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, a whopping 36% Merlot, and 8% Petit Verdot. It also carries 14.2% alcohol, which is high for this estate... still an infant in terms of development, and I would not be surprised to see this 2001 last 40 years. A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by extravagant, generous aromas of pen ink, lead pencil shavings, spice box and black fruits. The wine is full-bodied and silky textured, but secondary nuances have not yet begun to develop as it is still very primary, tasting more like a 3-4 year old Monte Bello than one that is ten years of age. Nevertheless, it reveals spectacular concentration, a voluptuous texture, a rare opulence for a Ridge Monte Bello, and an incredible finish. The upside is enormous and this cuvee may prove somewhat atypical due to the huge percentage of Merlot in the final blend and the higher than normal alcohol. But make no mistake about this Monte Bello -- it is a great wine. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040. (Jun 2011)

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Montes:
One of Chile’s most renowned winemakers – Auriello Montes Sr. – blazed the path of bringing his country’s premium selections to the world when he joined forces with wine industry vet Douglas Murray and partners Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand in 1988. Together, they formed Viña Montes, which became the standard for premium Chilean wines with the introduction of... Read more
One of Chile’s most renowned winemakers – Auriello Montes Sr. – blazed the path of bringing his country’s premium selections to the world when he joined forces with wine industry vet Douglas Murray and partners Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand in 1988. Together, they formed Viña Montes, which became the standard for premium Chilean wines with the introduction of Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon. In the quarter century since then, the company has been instrumental in raising awareness, affinity, and acclaim for Chilean wines in over 100 countries worldwide. Hailing from Apalta in Chile’s Cochalgua Valley, Viña Montes produces 950,000 cases annually through its vineyards La Finca de Apalta (in Apalta); El Arcangel Estate (in Marchigue); and Los Nogales Estate (in Curico). Among the company labels are Montes Alpha “M,” Montes Folly, Purple Angel, Montes Alpha, Montes Classic Series, Montes Cherub, and Montes Twins. In 2004, a new cellar was created at Apalta through an investment of more than US$7 million. Chilean architect Samuel Claro, from the Claro and Swinburn Agency, created the space, which was decorated by Paula Gutierrez, a nationally renowned designer. Here, technology and equipment reside in a peaceful environment incorporating Feng Shui elements – water, air, metal and wood- to encourage harmony and a positive atmosphere, enhancing the total experience and resulting wines. Read less

External Reviews for Montes Chardonnay Reserve

External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
02/24/2012

The 2001 Monte Bello is undoubtedly sold out, but a bottle I tasted in my office revealed a stunning wine. Boasting abundant amounts of sweet black and red fruits intermixed with tobacco leaf, white chocolate, charred wood, and espresso roast, it is a full-bodied effort with superb purity, high tannin, and an austere finish. It is built for 30 years of longevity. These impressive wines are unlikely to win many blind tastings given their current austerity.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
02/24/2012

When I taste this Monte Bello, I think of the Pacific. The flavors approach like a wave, a rise of pure black currant flavor allowing light through to the seabed below. Itrsquo;s the work of old Cabernet vines grown on a sunny ridge 2,600 feet above the Pacific, their roots deep into limestone that was once the ocean floor. Therersquo;s something voluptuous about the wine they give, a stylish drink that bears the history of the place where it grows in its flavors.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
02/24/2012

The initial cherry, currant and berry flavors quickly turn dry and tannic, coating the palate with an earthy mineral and camphor flavor thatrsquo;s a bit distracting. While solidly built, with good extraction and depth, some will find the earthy flavors a bit dominant. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2006 through 2012.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
02/24/2012

Bright medium ruby. Highly complex aromas of currant, lead pencil, tobacco and chocolate. Rich, lush and deep, with full-blown, superripe flavors of cassis, black raspberry and chocolate. This has considerably more merlot than the 2002 (36%), and it shows it in its extravagantly creamy texture. Finishes with sweet tannins and outstanding length. I donrsquo;t recall ever having tasted a Monte Bello as close to overripe as this one. But a compelling wine thatrsquo;s utterly voluptuous drinking already.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
02/01/2012

(14.2%; 56% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot and 8% petit verdot) Saturated, glass-staining ruby to the rim. Crystallized black fruits, licorice and a floral note on the nose. Densely packed, sappy and superconcentrated, with chewy flavors of red and b... Stephen Tanzers IWC. A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 2001 Ridge Monte Bello 750ml


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
02/24/2012

A candidate for one of the longest-lived Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines in California is Ridgersquo;s Monte Bello. The 2001 Monte Bello Proprietary Red is this historic vineyardrsquo;s 40th anniversary cuvee. It boasts a saturated purple color in addition to a luxurious perfume of smoky oak, plums, cedarwood, espresso, black cherries, and cassis. As the wine sits in the glass, a hint of tar also emerges. This full-bodied, broad, expansively flavored offering exhibits high tannin along with a huge finish. In blind tastings, I consistently mistake these cuvees for French Bordeaux, and also underestimate their age since they last for 30+ years. Over 90% of this offering is aged in new American oak, yet it never displays that sappy American oak character thanks to the superb cooperage of the barrels. This top-notch 2001 Monte Bello should be at its best between 2012ndash;2035.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
02/24/2012

The current release is a big, gooey wine. Fresh, sweet blackberry tart, cherry pie, sweet oak. Rich, sticky tannins, and very dry, with firm acids. Far too young. Highest alcohol in Montre Bellorsquo;s history mdash; 14.1 percent. Elegant and harmonious balance. Hands off until 2016.


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99 points Robert Parker: A resoundingly great effort from this iconic producer, Ridge's 2001 is a spectacular, still young but promising wine. Interestingly, 60% of the production from the winery's 108 acre Monte Bello Vineyard made it into the 2001's final blend (their 40th anniversary, by the way). The unusual blend is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, a whopping 36% Merlot, and 8% Petit Verdot. It also carries 14.2% alcohol, which is high for this estate... still an infant in terms of development, and I would not be surprised to see this 2001 last 40 years. A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by extravagant, generous aromas of pen ink, lead pencil shavings, spice box and black fruits. The wine is full-bodied and silky textured, but secondary nuances have not yet begun to develop as it is still very primary, tasting more like a 3-4 year old Monte Bello than one that is ten years of age. Nevertheless, it reveals spectacular concentration, a voluptuous texture, a rare opulence for a Ridge Monte Bello, and an incredible finish. The upside is enormous and this cuvee may prove somewhat atypical due to the huge percentage of Merlot in the final blend and the higher than normal alcohol. But make no mistake about this Monte Bello -- it is a great wine. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040. (Jun 2011)

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