(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.
(From 2010 Vintage) Monte Bello Parcels: 79.8 tons from 65.4 acres. Sustainably farmed, hand harvested, estate-grown grapes; destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.37 g/L calcium carbonate to moderate the high natural acidity in ten of the twenty-six parcels; 1.2% water addition to six of twenty-six lots during fermentation; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur 30 ppm at crush, 104 ppm during aging; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Wine AdvocateRating: 94/100 - As reviewed by The Wine Advocate