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99 points Robert Parker: A resoundingly great effort from this iconic producer, Ridge's 2001 is a spectacular, still ...Read more...
A candidate for one of the longest-lived Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines in California is Ridgersquo;s Monte Bello. The 2001 Monte Bello Proprietary... Read more
Bright medium ruby. Highly complex aromas of currant, lead pencil, tobacco and chocolate. Rich, lush and deep, with full-blown, superripe flavors o... Read more
The initial cherry, currant and berry flavors quickly turn dry and tannic, coating the palate with an earthy mineral and camphor flavor thatrsquo;s... Read more
Food Pairings for Ridge Red Bordeaux Blend Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello
External Reviews for Ridge Red Bordeaux Blend Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The 2001 Monte Bello Proprietary Red Wine (the 40th anniversary of this cuvee) is a stunning blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and 8% Petit Verdot. A saturated purple color to the rim accompanies gorgeous aromas of charred oak, black currants, and lilacs (or is it acacia flowers?). In the mouth, there is more of a roasted richness than is found in the 2000, as well as deep, classically structured, full-bodied, broad, expansive flavors of black and red fruits, espresso, and chocolate, and a spectacular finish. This Ridge Monte Bello is a tribute to a great winery that has never gone through an unsatisfactory period of winemaking, largely because of the perpetual brilliance of Paul Draper. This wine will require considerable patience. Anticipated maturity: 2009ndash;2030.
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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