Decanted the wine and drank it over a three hour dinner. Plums, tobacco, and ink on the nose. The palate was very smooth with a lovely tea leaf after taste. It had the finness. It tasted younger than its actual vintage. The wine evolved nicely throughout the night. At one point, it tasted like a 10 year old barolo to me. In a very good drinking window now. No point to wait.
Tasted along with '79 Lafite-Rothschild, '83 Margaux, '89 Latour, '94 Petrus and '98 Haut-Brion.
Clear, medium intensity ruby color.
The nose is developing with a medium(+) aroma intensity. Aromas of pure, dense black fruit. Fresh cassis and plums. There is lots of new oak with expensive vanilla, mocha, cold espresso and money. Sweet spice, new leather, cigars, grass and some floral notes of violets. This is deep, massive but a bit too much.
Dry on the palate with a medium acidity, medium(+) body and medium(+) rugged tannins. The flavor intensity is medium(+) with massive, sweet black fruit. Baked plums, expensive vanilla, fudge and leather. The finish is medium(+).
Well, this wine is clearly of outstanding quality but in tonights line-up it was out-staged. It lacked that elegance and finesse that one could find in the Bordeaux wines. However, it was fun to taste and this is a great bottle of Cab which drinking very well right now.
Not as good as I remember, or a less good bottle. In my opinion (I know others thought otherwise) this could not match the Bordeaux Premier Crus in the flight.
In fact it stood out like a sore thumb, and there was no doubt about this being the one wine that wasn't a Bordeaux.
Medium++ intense nose with aromas of raisins, corn on the cob, butter, tomato juice, rubber, blackcurrant jello, mint and a bit of ceder wood.
Medium+ acidity, very dry with grippy tannins. Even though its distinctly dry on the palate, the fruit that is there is very raisiny and dried. A good medium+ intensity and a long finish. The quality is there taste-wise, but I would have wanted a bit more complexity on the nose.
Starts of younger than I expected, and before looking at the bottle properly I for a while thought it was late 90's. After a while the mature notes turn up. Raisins and figs together with leather, tobacco and plenty of Bordeaux markers. Dry with round tannins, but absolutely not dried out. Good acidity, and a really long finish.
Drinks good now, but probably better a few years ago.
Limpid crimson, wonderfully expressive nose from the off, slight note of vanilla oak, rich plums, mint and a hint of violets. So youthful, rich, pronounced flavour that really opened up in the glass. Great balance. Nice acidity, fresh and lifted. Very fine, well integrated tannins. Damsons, blackcurrents, merest touch of vanilla, tea. All very youthful with years of life ahead of it. Long, long finish. Enjoyed over 4 hours and it just got better and better. A complete wine in every sense. Bravo!
Awesome wine that still tasted young. Cork was perfect. Deep violet color with significant body. Fragrant nose of dark fruits, violets. On the palate, you could really taste the merlot in the blend which added structure and a blue fruit note. Long finish.
Cork disintegrated upon removal so I was expecting the worst. Not a hint of leakage or oxidation though. Nice nose that was slightly oaky at first, but that went away after a little aeration. Left in decanter for about 20 minutes and drank over an hour. The wine is drinking well now, and I don't see it improving with more age. Very soft and easy to drink. Touch of acidity, smooth tannins, not overly alcoholic. Nose of licorice towards the end. A little hollow on the mid to end palate. In general I'm preferring this style much more than a big juice bomb, but I would like to see a tad more concentration.
Dead ringer for a mid-80s 3rd growth Medoc. Dark ruby color with a hint of bricking. Lovely, textbook Cab nose of black fruit and sweet tobacco. Fully mature, tannins gone. At first the palate isn't quite up to speed--it turns sour and thin about halfway down the tongue, and stays there for the aftertaste. But after an hour the wine stops feeling disjointed, and the palate comes along for the ride with the bouquet. There probably wasn't enough concentration in this vintage for Ridge to make a knockout, but it certainly was a pleasure.
Dark ruby color with no bricking. Powerful nose of dark fruits, spice, smoke, tar. Similar on the palate with mostly blackberry, some cassis. Very powerful and youthful with a strong tannic background. Excellent wine though not as elegant as the Montelena, though it is also 7 years younger.
Spontaneous Mini Ridge Monte Bello Vertical (Home): From 375mL direct from winery. Popped 4 hrs. before tasting. More purple in color than the '92; still dark. Nose of menthol, a touch of mint, maybe even creosote. Gobs of fruit on the palate, a bit of tobacco, silky smooth tannins, medium finish. This is probably on the downward side of its drinking curve. A lot more Cab in this vintage, and interestingly, Ridge did not list the other varieties in the blend. Not a classic Monte Bello, in my opinion.
beautiful nose. with stony fruits, olive tapenade, some wood, plum, cassis, and loamy herbal notes. This is the cooler climate, more brooding, darker, savory side of cab. Rich but not heavy on the palate, dense bitter chocolate, black olives, more stony fruits, green herbs, and beautiful balance. This is in a perfect place right now. This ahs gained secondary nuance , while retaining fruit and freshness. Terribly enjoyable. At peak. 94 pts.
another great showing for this wine/vintage. really started singing after being decanted for 2 hours. fruit is still very evident and flavors range from cherry to chocolate. still has great depth and concentration and tannins are silky soft. may last a few more years altho its def no longer at its peak--drink up!! one more left--can't wait!
Mittlere, sehr facettenreiche Nase nach Kirsche, Eiche, Leder, Menthol, Dillnote, Kakao; am Gaumen initial sehr klar, kräftige, feine Tanninstruktur, ordentliche Säure, gute Frucht, etwas scharf/leicht zehrend im Abgang; langes, langes Finish!
From a 375. Little nose, and actually a little weaker compared with the 03 Palmer next to it. Very reminiscent of old bordeaux, with its restraint black fruit and earthy minerals and but does carry with it a light streak of ripe sweetness that hints at its origin. Not terribly complex, but very smooth and the tannins are completely resolved. Finish a little tart on opening but got better with some air (but gained a bitter edge). My bottle seems to be on the decline since its a split, but from other notes the 750s seems to be at peak. Oh well.
(Includes 7% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot. 12.5% alc.) Nose - minty lamb, smooth, intense, shy and youthful blackberry and black currant, eucalyptus, pineapple sage. Lanolin, blackberry and black currant, smoky and tart, dusty and slightly grippy tannin, blue elderberry, dried sage. Very youthful. Funky jujube note and a touch of cedar. Should peak in about 15 years.
Aging beautfiully. Delicate nose full pf plum and some earth. This wine was very Bordeaux. Decanted at the restaurant and it got better as the night unfolded. We gave the sommelier a glass and he said it was in a good drinking window now, but had at least ten years in it still. I would not hesitate to open now, but anytime this decade works. Truly beautiful.
Ridge Monte Bello Vertical 1972-2003 (Chez Kailin - Northbrook IL): Tasted single blind in 1993-2003 flight. Big dark fruit with some interesting earthy and green pepper notes. Similar flavor profile with lots of acidity and tannins, perhaps obscuring the fruit a bit today. I preferred this well structured wine to others in the group tonight.
Ridge Monte Bello Vertical 72-03 (Ken's house, northbrook IL): nose: excellent depth and well balanced tones of bell peppers, menthol, mint, dark red cherries, currants, cedar, and fresh dill tones. While it sounds very vegeta and greenl, it didn't really come off that way, but more well in balance with a good dark red cherry core and the other tones supporting it
taste: lovely and elegant medium/full feel with good medium acidity along with tones of menthol, dark red cherries, currants, bits of dark berries, a touch of bell peppers, and bits of fresh picked herbs that sneak in on the back end. Good supporting tannins give this a real nice base right now
overall: my no5, the group's no5. a quality monte bello. While it may sound very vegetal, it wasn't as pronounced as the notes may sound. Well balanced and pretty, this had a freshness to it while also coming off as fully drinking at this time, but can certainly go longer
This was amazing. The best California cabernet I've had this year. The nose was a stunning mix of that Montebello smokey oak (with hints of American-ness), dark earth and minerals and impeccably fresh red and blue pitted fruits. Still has enough tanning to frame the wine nicely and enough acid to provide lift. For me, this is in a perfect place. It will surely last and maybe even improve depending on your preferences, but since I like to catch wines when they still have some fruit and tanning but have added secondary bottle complexity, this was great for me. However, I should note that the alcohol is 12.9%, so it must not be phenologically ripe. Dumbasses.
Opened at 5pm, drank from 7pm to 9pm. Dark, nearly black in color. Touch of mint and green leaves on the nose. Lots of plum on the palate with a little spice and cinnamon. This wine has great structure and balance. This reminds me of the '91 Monte Bello when I first had it a few years ago, although this is slightly more tannic and has a little less fruit. Best after 2 hours but fades after 4 hours.
My first time tasting a Monte Bello. Similar character to the Santa Cruz Mountains Estate with lots of blackcurrant and cassis, but much lighter on its feet and with a longer finish. A great birthday gift I bought for myself...delicious.
I've had this wine on 3 other occassions, never remotely impressed. Then I read somewhere that the Montebello is never fully appreciated until it is at least 12-15yrs old. Well this 15yr old bottle certainly changed my mind on this estate. The nose was classic full bodied cabernet. Length was good and fruit held up well. I have 2 more bottles that I will drink over the next 3 to 5yrs. While I dont think it will further evolve, I believe there is enough there to hold up over time.
Absolute essence of California cab, pre-cult. Phenomenal nose, mid-palate not as full as nose would suggest initially, but filled out over the course of an hour or so. Excellent showing from a largely forgotten vintage. Wish I had more.........
The color of the wine from this bottle had not faded. The nose included wet stone and minerals with brooding fruit. I didn't get and menthol. The tannins back up the loads of dark fruit nicely. 15 years seems to a great time to approach these MB's...
The color is just starting to fade a bit going from dark ruby to a faded crimson. An amazing 12.5% alcohol on this beaut. The nose almost reminds me of a Margaret River Cabernet, more in the olive and sage category mixed with some cassis and underbrush and a touch of mintyness. Long on the palate.
BHG Celebration Dinner (Per Se): This was poured alongside an 86 Insignia as a "compare and contrast" tasting. The Monte Bello totally outclassed the Insignia.
The nose was eucalyptus and menthol, with great berry and plum fruit. Lots going on in the nose. Gorgeous wine, drinking beautifully right now. Lovely balance of power and finesse, with just the right amount of well-integrated, rounded soft tannins for my taste at this point.