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Deep black current nose with overtones of chocolate and coffee. This puppy needs a bit of air. In the mouth right away fine but very firm tannins w... Read more
Deep, clear maroon color that speaks of its earthy and sexy nature. The nose is filled with pepper, dark forest berries, coffee and a slight bitter... Read more
My favourite American Cab Sav blend competes with the great Bordeaux and Paul Draper is a genius Read more
Food Pairings for Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains Essence Monte Bello
Deep black current nose with overtones of chocolate and coffee. This puppy needs a bit of air. In the mouth right away fine but very firm tannins with a medium acidity. After a couple of hours this wines nose remained dark fruit filled and intriguing. Black-raspberry jam, black cherries, and strong notes of cassias. Tannins never really left this wine and continued to provide a nice firm structure to hang the fruit on. Great roundness in the mouth and finish which lasted for a good minute afterwards, went a long ways to making the bottle last. Real treat. 4/5 [NR]
Deep, clear maroon color that speaks of its earthy and sexy nature. The nose is filled with pepper, dark forest berries, coffee and a slight bitter sweetness at the end that is incredibly inviting. On the palate, although I find it much more subtle than the nose, I am still star struck by not only its structure and balance, but also the mineral, blackberry and chocolate notes that peek out every so slightly. For me, an amazing and fun wine! 4.5
My favourite American Cab Sav blend competes with the great Bordeaux and Paul Draper is a genius
External Reviews for Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains Essence Monte Bello
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.
The dense ruby-hued 2003 Monte Bello offers a tight but promising nose of tar, briery creme de cassis, toast, and smoke. Medium to full-bodied, with abundant tannin, a rich texture, and a deep, persistent style, this youthful, primary red is best forgotten until 2010. It should drink well over the following 15-20 years. This impressive wine is unlikely to win many blind tastings given its current austerity.
Full ruby-red. Knockout nose offers blackberry, currant, plum, cedar, minerals and dark chocolate. Fresh, succulent and quite firm in the mouth, with brisk acids and a minty nuance lifting the dark berry and chocolate flavors. Finishes with chewy tannins that come across as a bit less harmonious than those of the young 2004. But this youthfully closed wine grew sweeter with aeration.
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 Bello's history - 14.1 percent. Elegant and harmonious balance. Hands off until 2016.
The initial cherry, currant and berry flavors quickly turn dry and tannic, coating the palate with an earthy mineral and camphor flavor that'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.
A candidate for one of the longest-lived Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines in California is Ridge's Monte Bello. The 2001 Monte Bello Proprietary Red is this historic vineyard'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 2012-2035.
Extraordinarily fat, ripe, flamboyant, scads of Cabernet quality. Oodles of black currants, also smoky oak and vanilla. Ripe, fruity, forward, almost jammy. Big time tannins. Drinkable now, but really needs many years; hold until 2012.
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