2016 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.
Bottled in March of 2018 and a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello offers a more streamlined, elegant, and ultra-classic style compared to the 2014 and 2015, which are slightly bigger, richer wines. Boasting a deep purple color and beautiful purity in its crème de cassis, blueberry, white flowers, and vanilla bean, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, silky tannins, and perfect balance. It doesn’t have the sheer depth of fruit of some of the blockbuster years, yet makes up for it with its incredible purity, poise, and balance. Relatively approachable for a Monte Bello, it’s still going to see its 30th birthday in fine form.
Graphite, smokey bonfire as well as brooding black fruit aromas. Elegant on the palate with suave tannins, with an appealing sweet and sour quality to the fruit. Beguiling and long finish. Drinking Window 2020 - 2045.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Monte Bello is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc, aged 18 months in 100% new oak (98% American and 2% French). It has a medium to deep ruby color and is youthfully coiled, slowly developing scents of dark chocolate, pencil shavings, cedar, loamy soil, dried flowers, licorice, blackcurrant and black cherry with red berry sparks and exotic spices. The palate is full-bodied and youthfully firm, slowly unfolding with mineral-tinged fruits. It has a frame of firm, pixelated tannins and seamlessly woven acidity, finishing very long and full of latent layers.
This is tight as a drum today, with a rigid frame of singed apple wood and cedar around a core of dark currant, fig and blackberry reduction notes. A racy iron streak and riveting acidity drive the finish, which is loaded with bay leaf, violet, sage, charcoal and tobacco details. Expands steadily in the glass with air, but this isn't meant for consumption today. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2025 through 2045.
A refined, creamy red with currant, fresh-mushroom, tree-bark and light dried-tobacco character. Medium body. Firm and lightly chewy. Linear and racy red. Very tight. 72% cabernet sauvignon, 12% merlot, 10% petit verdot and 6% cabernet franc. Drink after 2023.