ridge, california cabernet sauvignon monte bello, santa cruz mountains 2015
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
At this early stage, the 2015 Monte Bello is all about potential. I followed a bottle over several days and only witnessed improvement. The wine unfurls in the glass with a rich bouquet of cassis, ripe plums, espresso roast, black tea and baking chocolate, lavishly framed by minty, spicy new oak—which is often at its most prominent at exactly this stage, when the wine is shutting down after bottling. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with rich, velvety tannins and beautifully succulent, even tangy acidity that lends amazing lift on the finish. The most obvious analogy is the 2005 vintage, though it also evokes a more elegant version of the 1995 Monte Bello. It's a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc that attained 13.5% natural alcohol. Since the wine appears to be shutting down, I'd recommend forgetting it until its tenth birthday. Given its structure and balance, it should enjoy remarkable longevity.
One of America’s most iconic wines, this classic mountaintop blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc opens with aromas of dark berry, black pepper, lilac, baked earth and toasty oak. The wood spice carries throughout the palate, decorating the savory black-olive, charred meat and leather flavors, which are framed by sandy, polished tannins. Drink 2023–2045.
Powerfully structured, with intense smoke and spice notes to the apple, citrus and ripe tart flavors. Finishes long and rich, with buttery accents that linger with enticing savory overtones
Stunning depth, power, purity and elegance. The blackcurrants and plums are fresh and intense on the nose with blueberries and gently herbal notes, too. The palate has a keenly articulated array of vibrant tannins that hold long, fresh and pure. It invokes a sense of wonderment at the finish. So long and so pure. This blend of 77 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 11 per cent merlot, seven per cent petit verdot and five percent cabernet franc, is just at the start of a wonderful journey. Try from 2021.