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Ridge Monte Bello 06 Us-California 2004
"The opaque purple color is accompanied by a wine that smells and tastes ripe, rich, and brilliantly made, but it will require a minimum of 10-12 years of cellaring."[Should be quite approachable after 2012.]Adapted from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate*_Quite limited; only a few magnums available._*
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Editorial Reviews for Ridge Monte Bello 06 Us-California
This has a lovely nose that shows some early maturity with sweet, tobacco accents over a base of gentle black spice and smoke-tinged blackcurrant fruit. Bright acidity on entry leads to a rather gentle mid-palate that shows off very clear blackberry and red currant fruit formed with suggestions of wild herbs. This is a touch simple, yet remains clear and bright in the mouth. 88 points
External Reviews for Ridge Monte Bello 06 Us-California
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.
The 2004 Monte Bello (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) reveals a similar dark ruby/purple color, but it is not as thick looking as the 2003 or 2005. A lighter, more elegant example of Monte Bello, the finesse-styled 2004 does not possess the power one normally sees in this wine. It offers pure fruit, a pretty, St.-Julien-like style, notes of cedar, spice box, herbs, background oak, and red as well as black currants, and silky tannin. It is capable of lasting 15-20 years.
Dark, young and tight. It's firmly tannic, but enough black cherry, currant and smoky oak flavors balance it out. Finishes with intensity and concentration, the woodiness dominating at this young stage. This is one California red that's best to cellar into 2000 to soften it.
The elegant structure of Monte Bello cabernet comes through in the 2003 bottling, built on mineral tannins, from vines grown in limestone. The fruit is completely black (it hints at blueberry as it takes on air), but the wine is not hyperripe. Structure supports it and lengthens the flavors; the lasting impression is clean and refreshing, which is something you can't say about most Napa Valley cabernets from '03.
Ridge's home vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains produces this classic California cabernet blend (69 percent cabernet sauvignon, 18 merlot, 10 petit verdot and 3 cabernet franc). It's a wine with power and drive, clearly oriented toward the character of the site rather than any particular varietal flavor or fruitiness. At this early stage in its development, the fruit comes across as a layering of colors, bright red, midnight blue, forest green, seeming to deny any reationship to the standard jargon of cabernet and speaking only about its own soil-driven personality. The tannins are firm and tough, with a soft, mellow underbelly. A little startling to taste so young, it's a wine to put away and savor in the coming decades.
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.
Food Pairings for Ridge Monte Bello 06 Us-California
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