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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 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 Red Bordeaux Blend Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello
Bright ruby-red. Vibrant aromas of boysenberry, iron and mocha. Dense but tightly wound and not overly sweet; has a silky texture despite possessing a strong acid spine. Finishes with palate-cleansing acids and a late spicy character. This very young... Stephen Tanzer. A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 1999 Ridge Monte Bello 750ml
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 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.
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.
Saturated ruby color. Brooding aromas of cassis, bitter chocolate, peat and cigar box. huge, sweet and mouthfilling but as unevolved as a barrel sample. Impressively intense cassis and blueberry flavors boast great verve. Thoroughly suave tannins coat the palate with a fine layer of dust. Juicy and extremely long. An infant that should prove to be very long-lived; likely to merit a score in the mid-90s.
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.
Powerful and massive, with tons of sweetly delicious blackberry, cherry and mocha fruit combined with oak, smoke and vanilla. Wonderfully rich, ripe tannins and firm, bolstering acidity. Fabulous young wine. Drinkable now if you must but just beginning its voyage of decades.