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A wine of great balance, finesse and grace. Well-focused, the ripe, tart, rich blackberry and currant fruit is intense yet elegant, picking up earth, mineral and sage notes, and finishing with fine, well-integrated tannins (Wine Spectator, June 00)
A brilliantly focussed, classical Cabernet blend, approaching the moment when the fruit will blossom into the multi-layered complexity of a great Monte Bello. Decant well in advance of serving. "A wine of great balance, finesse and grace. Well-focused, the ripe, tart, rich blackberry and currant fruit is intense yet elegant, picking up earthy, mineral and sage notes, and finishing with fine, well-integrated tannins. Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab. Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2012." 92/100 pts. (Wine Spectator - Oct 2002)
Bottle 12 x 75cl
Lovely perfume of Cassis and black plum fruit on the nose with a touch of earth, mocha, undergrowth. The palate is finely poised with a medium body, finely grained tannins and a very lifted acidity which gives an impression of a cool climate Cabernet and a lovely old world sensibility. A lovely well balanced Cabernet that will drink now perfectly with red meat but will keep another 3 – 5 years. Stuart Rae - Private Account Manager
Paul Draper's masterpiece. Structured tannins, intense black fruits and pepper spice.
Bottle 6 x 75cl
Magnum 3 x 150cl
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. Ridge’s iconic Monte Bello Proprietary Red (no longer called Cabernet Sauvignon) is one of the candidates for the longest-lived Bordeaux blend made in California. Even vintages from the late sixties and early seventies are still vibrant wines. The winery owns just over 100 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines, and production varies enormously based on the mountain climate. With respect to this group of wines, the smallest yields were achieved in 2005, and the highest in 2007. The selection process here is relatively severe. For their Monte Bello, the flagship wine, 32% of the production was used in 2003, 38% in 2004, 49% in 2005, 39% in 2006, and 41% in 2007. These wines continue to be anomalies in the sense that the Cabernet Sauvignon component is aged in American oak, a somewhat contrarian procedure since most top producers long ago moved to French oak. The Santa Cruz Mountains cuvees, essentially a second wine culled out from Monte Bello, are also high quality efforts from Ridge. Each of the vintages I tasted reflects the vintage conditions in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 91/100 Robert M. Parker Wine Advocate #187 Feb 2010
A great vintage for a perennially high class ‘Californian Cabernet’ has produced a wine of intense colour with ripe, dark fruit, well balanced tannins and a lovely seductive sweetness at the finish. Jancis Robinson goes so far as to describe it as “almost Lafite like in its raciness”.