2012 ridge, california cabernet sauvignon monte bello, santa cruz mountains
Why We're Buying
Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon is a Bordeaux-style red blend that has defines the wine industry in California. The fruit is sourced from a vineyard on the southern-facing slopes of red volcanic soils in the Santa Cruz mountains from 60+ years old vines. The result is a wine that critic Wilfred Wong called "one of the greatest achievements in the history of wine." To date, Monte Bello has received seven 100-point ratings from critics.
Beautifully structured, with firm acidity and tannins that show grip amid a core of dense currant and blackberry fruit, turning juicy. This is classic old-school Cabernet. Cellaring for five to seven years is the right approach. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2020 through 2035.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Inky colored, the sensational 2012 Monte Bello comes all from the Santa Cruz Mountains and is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. It's backwards and tight, with classic black cherry, crushed violets, cassis, espresso roast and crème brulee notes all flowing seamlessly to a full-bodied, concentrated, structured and layered Bordeaux blend that has bright acidity, a stacked mid-palate and firm tannin. It needs 5-6 years of cellaring and will hold for two decades beyond that.
Over the years, Ridge’s Monte Bello bottlings have been among the most individual and distinctive of the state’s top Cabernets, and the latest incarnation fits the classic winery model of precision, restraint and varietal purity. It backs well away from high ripeness and bluster and fixes on steady cassis- and cherry-like fruit with subtle accents of oak and herbs scattered throughout its considerable length, but it is its sense of structure and keen balance that earns it a place with the high achievers of the 2012 class.