(From 2012 Vintage) Opaque ruby color. Ripe mountain briar and cassis fruits; licorice, crushed limestone, sweet toasted oak, violets. Intense blackberry fruit on entry; cola, exotic oak spice. Well-defined full body, rich structure, firm acid, wet stone mineral. Long, intense finish. By late summer, a second drought year had pushed the vines to their limit with water stress. The resulting small berries reduced the crop, which ripened three weeks earlier than any in our fifty-year history. Fermented as whole berries, and pressed at eight days, the wines were transferred to barrel for natural malolactic. Nineteen of twenty-six lots—including only one of merlot—were selected for the 2013. This superb vintage shows Monte Bello’s mineral character and firm acidity. Complex secondary qualities will develop within fifteen years, and the wine will age beautifully for twenty more.
The Monte Bello (originally Monte Bello Cabernet; until 1975, 100% cabernet) is the wine that introduced Ridge to the world, and the world to Ridge. It is a blend of bordeaux varietals. Cabernet sauvignon still predominates; exhaustive tasting of test blends during assemblage determines how much—if any—merlot, petit verdot, or cabernet franc will be included in the finished wine. Almost every vintage (an unbroken chain from '62 on) has something substantive to recommend it. Every decade has its h...
Robert Parker(From 2006 Vintage) Rating: 94+/100 - As reviewed by Robert Parker on 02/22/2010
Robert Parker(From 2007 Vintage) Rating: 92+/100 - As reviewed by Robert Parker on 02/22/2011
Wine Spectator(From 1999 Vintage) Rating: 92/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(From 1999 Vintage) 72% Cabernet Sauvignon; 25% Merlot; 2% Cabernet Franc; 1% Petit Verdot. The better half of the grapes picked on Monte Bello Ridge has gone into this very special wine. Its aromas are a rich and enticing blend of currant, root beer, black cherries and caramelized vanilla beans with complexing notes of sweet spice and toast. Medium-full in body and balanced by firming acids, the wine is elegant and layered on the palate with a firm acidy edge in the finish. Still, it is a wholly lovely bottling tha...