Ripple and Ridonculous Wines (Ripple - Cleveland Park - Washington, DC): One of my favorites of the night. Gorgeous aromatic display, incrementally better after three hours. So pure and elegant on the palate. Perfect balance between tannins and acid. Bright, lively currants and dark cherries complemented by a seamless blend of olive, tobacco, anise, cigar smoke, pickling spices. So much non-fruit complexity combined with waves of gorgeous, pure fruit. I’d love to try this again in five years.
This was weird on opening but after a 30 minutes, it changed character, losing a kind of rubbery, menthol note. After that, a nicely aged Monte Bello emerged, showing notes of cherry, leather, mint and plenty of tannin. I think these may be nearing completion date. I might drink in the next 2-4 years.
Parker in Dec 2003 gave this a 90 rating, and I think he undersold this one.. I had it at a steakhouse dinner along with another 2000 Napa Cab, Shafer's Hillside Select. We decanted it for about 1 hour, and then drank it with our meal. This was by far the better of the two wines. Long finish, amazingly complex and it just kept getting better. It is also much more "bordeaux" like than the Shafer. A quick tip: Monte Bello always seems to need decanting and breathing. They don't seem to show well on a pop and pour taste.
The 2000 Monte Bello is drinking nicely, it may have hit it's peak. The wine is nicely balanced, but seems a bit more of a softer, more fruit-forward style for than for a typical MB. Tannins were light, with moderate oak and ample fruit, primarily black berry and cassis. Enjoyed it, but a little more structure/tannin would have paired up better with the grilled steak with which we paired it.
drank this first in 1/1 about 3-4 years ago, then pnp - and thought a "beastly", fleshy, hardly drinkable. amazing wine now with still so very dark colours, but this has turned to blackberry and raspberry on nose + palate, no harsh tannins. however in a fruit phase still and cannot believe this except for cool cellars. give it 2 hours air if you drink now. developing to what to know in 5+years and, there is upside for sure. one bottle left to keep and find out, a low 92p for now.
Tasted at the winery. This was a Coravin bottle, so not sure how long it has been "opened". This was tasted alongside the '10 which was far superior. This may have suffered from the superior bottle alongside. Still very young in appearance with no visible bricking. This was Bordeaux "light", with some dusty notes and tannins. So many better vintages to choose from.
A Tasting at Ridge (Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Estate): "Opened" via the Coravin. Inky crimson core fading towards the meniscus. Aromas of currants, dust, cedar, rose hips, lavender and just a hint of tobacco. Flavors of red currants, dusty earth, cedar and cherry. Balanced, with a nice finish.
So so good. Nose is dense, tight berry/cassis, a touch of spice, and a good dose of menthol/eucalyptus. No olive or jalapeno that I detected. Palate was as I'd expect after the nose. Tannins are still there but faded. Acid structure is excellent. With air it improved somewhat and then hit a plateau for the remainder of the bottle. No signs of it being end of life at all, rather I think it will continue to improve for a few more years yet. Just a gorgeous bottle of wine. I'll try my next bottle in 2016 or so.
Tasted at the LCBO tasting bar. Really nice wine that is Bordeaux in style, albeit with slightly more plump fruit. Nose of blackberries, black raspberries, dark ripe black cherries, truffle, mushroom, cedar, leather, hints of vanilla and mint. In the mouth this still has a fair bit of structure with dusty sweet tannin. Finish is moderate to long but I could see the palate being more pleasurable as this integrates further. Excellent today, better in 5+ years.
I meant to decant this but forces conspired against me so it was a PNP, but it didn't matter. Aromatically this exploded from the get-go. A stunning nose. On the initial palate, quite tight (just a little sip). After 20+ minutes the taste was pretty rapidly catching up to the nose. As we continued through the dinner, it continued to evolve ... it was almost as if it changed every 10 minutes or so - always for the better, until the last couple of ounces. As I took the last swallow with a chocolate-based dessert, I noted that the fruit had diminished quite a bit. This was close to 2 hours after opening, though.
I tend to agree with the other raters here about the quick decline, with the caveat that I recently bought this off an open shelf in a chain store, so I can't say what the storage was.
Consensus at the table was that this wine would continue to improve, although to me it's hard to imagine. I wouldn't wait. An awesome wine.
Dark red color, nearly opaque. Decanted off limited sediment. Initial nose was a bit shy with cassis and a hint of vanilla. With 15 minutes of air, this started to blossom and notes of cherry, cedar, and more vanilla came out. The palate followed that evolution with plenty of deep blackberry and cherry notes with vanilla, a hint of plum, and a red and black currant character that flows into a long finish that has some fine tannins still unresolved. This is entering good drinking, but needs air today. Drink with decanting or hold for another 3-5 years before going after it. No hurry here and a great Monte Bello experience.
Dark deep red colour. Nose with blackcurrants, some tar, herbaceous hints, slightly developed notes with leather and barnyard aromas, and gravelly notes. Palate with ripe blackcurrants, some ripe dark cherries, some sweetness of fruit in the attack, good acidity, medium tannins, aftertaste with berries. Very fine and balanced profile. Rather ready to drink, but could develop more, 93 p. From magnum.
Brilliant, gorgeous, delicious, ready to drink now. Elegance with power and restraint. Structure exists to allow this wine to last through 2020+, but seriously! why wait! it's so damned good and ready. Just fabulous.
This bottle was spectacular. Soft, but still vibrant, fruit. Red and black fruit notes, along with herbs, chocolate, and spice. Great backbone of acidity and soft tannins. Seems to have plenty of time left.
First try of a half case. Having recently had the '99, this is surprisingly different. Similar texture, lovely mouthfeel, medium bodied, although more tannic than the '99. It also had more spice, wood and earth with less sweet fruit (the '99 excelled here). The finish is very long with a notable aniseed flavour, something I don't normally appreciate but it worked here. Clearly a well made wine, just lacks the charm and finesse of the '99 hence the lower score.
This was why Monte Bello is so highly regarded among Cali. Bordeaux blends. It was banging tonight. A complex, elegant and soaring nose of crushed boysenberry, oak, saddle leather. Flavors are complex and lean, blueberry, chocolate, tabac, ball glove, fine ash and moderate tannin with a nice acidity to keep things lively. Could be peaked, but probably 5-10 years of nice life left. The tannins dry on the finish which keeps the rating below classic.
At a tasting with Paul Draper in Bergen, Norway. We tasted this one right next to the MB '10 and the MB '08. The nose shows a tremendous amount of development. Increased complexity, more powerful and concentrated, dark bricky ruby red, silky soft on the tongue. Sweet, oaky, still a lot of tannins but woven into the fabric of the wine. Hidden away perfectly. Only on this wine, the oak starts to subside and be overtaken by the secondary flavors. Magic!
Beautiful. Mineral driven. Bordeaux-esque. Consumed from a decanter ove 2 days. The second day, this wine still held up well. No up front, ripe Cali fruit. Really structured and restrained on the nose and palate. Wll continue to improve another 2-4 years in bottle and drink well through 2020+. One of the great, all-time Cali Cabs.
Served blind. Guessed CA, then Ridge MB. More bdx like than my last tasting in '11. Blackberries prominent, but with strong cedar and mineral notes. Elegant, elongated finish. Day 2 showed improvement.
Interesting smoky aromas of chocolate, cedar, loam and tobacco. Extremely complex and evolving flavors include bright plum and red berry fruit, graphite, woody cedar and dark chocolate. Quite acidic and still fairly tannic. Very enjoyable now but will certainly continue to mature and develop, and likely improve even from here. Great wine.
On the tongue, sweet fruit of cassis and black berry, with some tobacco and leather. Nice mid-palate depth and ending with a soft, but structured finish. Not the most complex Monte Bello, but extremely pleasurable and drinking very well right now. No need to wait on this.
Very interesting progress, good nose immdiately after opening and drank well for about an hour, dropping slowly, body a bit thin, thought it was over and went after other bottles, after about 3 hours, most wine was gone and went back to this one, wow! It needs 3 hours to really open! As good as the 97 drank side by side at the end.
Great effort in a tougher vintage. Great dark fruit, lovely and powerful nose, medium dark in color. Agree with other comments that this wine will improve and has age-ablity. If you must have now, decant for a few hours.
nicely aged. well rounded. drank with sunday supper; best leftovers from previous evening's thanksgiving celebration in the french countryside. roaring fire. all the fixings. decanted and it opened up and just cruised on the palate.
Ridge Monte Bello Vertical Tasting 1974 - 2008 (Switzerland): Intensive red, but lighter as the inky 2001. Taste of tar and leather. Acidity supported by a nice sweetness of red berries. A bit short but elegant. One of the surprises of the evening as I did not expect too much from the 2000. No reason to wait as I do not expect this wine to get any better. Drink now - 2020
Some slight bricking a the edge. Aroma of mocha and chocolate. Taste of beets, chocolate, plums, strawberry, cedar, licorice. Long lasting flavor. Ripe tannins present, and melding with the smooth wine. This is still a baby and will improve with additional time. I would give it another 5 - 8 years before trying another bottle. Those scoring it 91 at this point are right, but it will gain levels of complexity with additional cellar time. A very classy glass of wine.
Lovely wine to share with friends of about 13 years. Light purple with slight ruby color towards the edge. This wine smells very bordeaux with black currant, soil, smoke, and spice. In the mouth, was a little thin but still contained great complexity with more rustic undertones, coupled with dark fruit, dirt, and mushroom in the mouth.
Dark scarlet color. The nose is oak with overtones of cassis. On the palate, very little fruit is evident. The wine is dry and disjointed. The finish is a little better, with a lingering woodiness. Overall, either this bottle is off or I've waited too long. It looks young, but tastes tired and tannic with little fruit or balance. I'm hoping this is just a bad bottle, but it feels more like an off year for what is normally a great wine.
the most primary and darkest of the ‘00’s. Huge expressive nose of black currants, mocham spice. Sweet bacl fruit with pipe tobacco, espresso, tar, and smoke. There a lot of oak influence here, but there seems to be plenty of fruit as well. A very strong effort in an off year, as this certainly isn’t fading anytime soon. My WOTN.
Ridge Monte Bello 1994-2000 Vertical with Eric Baugher (Handford Wines, London): Dark red colour. Mild fruit and herby notes on the nose, elegant nose, very faint oak notes. Still very tannic on the palate and needs time in bottle. Mild on the extract, good balance but unfortunately some dry tannin on the finish. Eric believes this will need 15yrs in bottle prior to approaching. 75% CS / 22% M / 3% PV . 90-91 and still very young.
Ruby purple in color with nice nose of rich cherries, mocha, and spice. Dark palate with currant, minerals, oak. Still very tannic, needs time. After having 1990 last year, these Monte Bellos get better in time.
Great nose, with a very dark character. Smokey, with roasted coffee and black currants. Dark fruit on the palate, with mostly integrated tannins and round mouth coating feel. Showing black currants, plum, blackberry, and just a wisp of green pepper spice. Lengthy finish of scorched earth, espresso, leather, and black fruit. Lovely cab, with a distinctly darker fruit profile than typical of Napa and the clearest representation of fresh roasted coffee I've ever gotten in a wine. In a great place right now, though certainly won't fade anytime soon. Little if any maturity of the fruit flavors.
San Antonio Wine Geeks (The Monterey): Great nose of mocha, leather, spice and gravel. Nice comparison to the Pessac-Leognan with similar character. Fine tannins on the palate, with dark toned fruit, nice acidity showing a crystalline pure fruit style. Lengthy berry and coffee finish. Classy and polished. Really nice. Slightly below the ’94. 93-94
Opened, and let sit for about 4 hours before serving. This is the definition of class and elegance. A well rounded and complet wine showing good black fruits, plums, some cedar/cigar box and mint notes and a long finish. This is not a big hit you up top side the head with fruit and oak. This is a wine that caresses you, massages your feet, brings you your pipe and slippers, and asks "how was your day?" Is there anything I can do for you?"
I an not usually effusive in my reviews but I loved this wine. Soaring aromatics in the nose including dirt, ripe blueberry, smoke aNd raspberry. Flavors of blueberry, vanilla, oak barrel. Nice supporting acidity and just a perfect level of tannin. Minutes of finish. Just awesome right now, maybe the best wine I have had in 2011 to date.
Notes of cassis and dark fruit with lovely floral overtones; violets and perhaps some lavender. Fine-grained tannins with loads of dark fruit on the palate. Very well-balanced, with a long finish dominated by black fruit.
Round II - Darkest in the line up. More fragrant, violets, still the palate just does not deliver. Light. This is still young tannic, too french, lacks fruit.
This was my wine and performed OK. It was a tough line up and it was much weightier day 2 from a small bit I took back from the 1.5l. This did have a good several hours opened before we started a few hour sessions.
Good cork, barely wet but inky at the end. Decanted and tasted, restrained nose at first, opening after 30 minutes to fine Cab fruit. Not so fine as an 85 BV last week, but excellent wine, medium body, moderate tannin. Still good after 2 hours; will keep several more years. Good with roast veal and cheese after.
lacked fruit. had 2001 a few weeks ago which was dynamite. this one was a bit dumb. has richness and a pleasant nose, just not enough fruit to make stand out. needed about 1.5 hrs to peak. doubt it'll get any better. drink if u got em.
Tasted alongside the1995-1999 vintages this was the bruiser of the group. Rich and opulet but lacking some of the uncanny balance and freshness displayed by its siblings. Needs time, but not convinced this will ever be a great Monte Bello - acidity a little lacking
Deep red with a hint of orange on the rim. Nose is quit different from other vintages that I've tasted. Burnt birch wood, rich nose with signs of matured elements. Blackcurrant and plums with a hint of limestone. Taste is overall dominated by balanced tannings and dark fruit. Medium weighted mouth feel and not very acidic, but delicate and flavorful.
Earthy, fruity and fresh. Typically Monte Bello with perhaps a little less sweetness/fruit than in the best vintages. Nevertheless this doesn't disappoint and makes for a great glass. I get enough acidity and grip to think this still has a few years of life ahead so no rush but my few bottles won't last long anyhow. 50+9+9+18+8=94
Tobacco, earth, cigar box, cassis and fennel aromatics opened to a medum/full bodied wine of freshness, soft textures, cassis and blackberries. This is not a wine of depth and power. It's about freshness meshed with elegance. There is no need to hold this wine as it's probably in prime time drinking mode today.
Decanted and then poured. Consumed over next 4 hours. Almost no sediment. Inky dark purple with ruby at the rim. Overwehming (dill) oak on the nose with some plum and other dark fruit. Medium body. Resolved tannins. Decent balance but monolithic on the palate with an uninspiring and rather short finish. Past whatever prime it may have had.
Drinking perfectly well right now. Rich and beautiful dark fruits. Beautiful balance, real depth, huge deliciousness going on, still great structure - still feels like it could go another 10+ years no sweat. A real treat.
Blackberry, red currant and oak vanillan nose. Flavors sing early out of the bottle but the wine falls off a bit after a few hours in decanter. For a ten year old wine with impeccable storage conditions, I found this disturbing just a bit. Chewy but well integrated tannins frame blackberry, anise and currant flavors. Just a bit out of balance on the tannin side. Still, overall, a very good example of Monte Bello with plenty to like, no flaws and worthy of its lineage.
Still plenty of tannins with which to carry this wine for years to come, and nicely balanced / food-friendly, but it was a bit green and slightly disappointing on the fruit scale. Clearly shown-up by the '01 Blankiet cab (very similar varietal blend) that we served alongside it.
Medium garnet, transparent surprisingly light for a Californian Bordeaux blend. Nose of cassis, graphite very Pauillac style if not for the medicinal (band aid) and salty aromas on the background. Tight mouth, with firm tannins medium body and quite high acidity. Somewhat lean, without the suppleness of texture that would have made it more pleasurable. The 2000 is regarded as the weak chain in the Monte Bello vintages, however this wine has varietal typicity, freshness, elegant aromatics and although tannins are standing out, complements food very well.
Animal crap on opening, although it seemed to mitigate much more than expected for brett (reduction?), after about 30 minutes it was smoke and earth on the nose, with a bit of animal pooh (the brett?) but not objectionably so, sour cherry, blueberry, vanilla oak and well integrated tannin. Better than I expected. Drinking well now and probably for some time before closing down again.
Somewhat tight to begin, showing more dark fruit than red fruit, suave tannin and good presence in the mouth. This wine is still a bit angular, suggesting that it needs some more time in the cellar, but at the same time the edges are a bit rounded, suggesting that time has been good to this wine. Can a wine be both angular but with rounded edges? With an hour or two of air, the wine explodes with nuance on the nose. Not especially layered or profound on the palate, although one can sense the quality. This is a B+ wine that aspires for A level, but will always be a B+ wine. Drink now or cellar and hope that it develops - I think it will smooth out further, but won't become profound. I brought this to David and Lindsey's rehearsal dinner at Rothmann's.
Has not changed since last time, classic Bordeaux restrained nose. A bit untypical for Monte Bello, in that it does not have the same sweet core as other vintages. Tasted alongside some Bordeaux 2003 (4-5 cru, so no blockbusters) and it was clearly a better wine, just showing that even when Monte Bello is bad, it is still pretty good :-)
Ridge Monte Bello Vertical 72-03 (Ken's house, northbrook IL): nose: fairly evolved nose with tones of dill, anisette, dark red cherries, tobacco leaf, and a good amount of menthol tones. Good nose, but its almost comes off as monte bello-lite. It doesn't have the depth that other vintages have had and it seems fully at its peak, and is showing itself to be extremely mature at what should be a young age
taste: very good medium feel that comes off as fairly well evolved with tones of herbs, dill, dark red cherries and a good amount of menthol. Has nice weight on the palate, but the finish is rather clipped and doesn't really have the depth and expression that other MBs have brought in the vertical
overall: my no7, group's no 7. This just falls short for me. Its almost a mini-monte bello if you will. It just doesn't have the expression that the others have had to make up for not having the screaming depth that some of the better ones have had, and is very shot on the finish. THe nose almost came off as too evolved for a wine of this age, even considering the vintage as two of the older monte bellos were from difficult vintages. Sometimes mother nature doesn't give the best to work with, and that came off a bit here
Aromatically the wine expresses black tea, dark chocolate, and dry hay. The nose is not flashy or intense and the wine would probably benefit from decanting. The pallette was very suave with excellent entry, mid, and finish that shows a medium plus density. This wine should age easily for another 10 years before peaking.
Decanted immediately. Initially, tight and tannic. About an hour later started to open up. Some fruit (dark cherry) but tannic at the finish. After two hours, smooth wine, but still a tannic finish. Try again around 2010 or 2011. This will be an elegant wine with medium body; it should be paired with cheeses or mildly seasoned dishes.
Tasted with Ridge Monte Bello '80, '90, '91, '92, '94, '96 (corked), '99, '00, '01 (in magnum). Quite a lovely night one might say.
My favorites of the night were the '90 and '99. But just barely. Meaning that every vintage seem to show the magnificence of this site, all were worthy of appreciation. All the wines showed dark black fruits, a certain tobacco anise-ness and precise purity of acids and tannins. The younger the wines were the more black fruit, the less tobbacco. All bottles were still viable and drinkable.
Excellent wine starting to come around. Took half a hour to open up. Nicely balanced, blueberries on the palate, deep concentrated color and flavors. Drank next to a 97 ZD reserve cab, which we all preferred.
13.4% alcohol; 75% cabernet sauvignon, 23% merlot and 2% cabernet franc' deep color and extracted fruit, but not at all hot...mouthfeel is good, nice and round, still some tannins with plenty of backbone..touch of anise in the finish
.375 - commercially stored since release - Decanted about an hour. The color remains a dark blackish purple with no bricking. The nose, while muted, is all cabernet. The alcohol is noticeable and although the (black cherry) fruit is not prominent, the wine is generally balanced on the palate, with some sweet oak and cedar leading the way to a fairly rich mid-palate. Unfortunately, the wine finishes with green/unripe fruit.
Thank goodness, a real wine! Had after the '02 Beringer Priv.Res. Cab. (a.k.a. simple fruit bomb). This wine has structure, complexity, and depth. The fruit is interwoven and layered between coffee tones, tobacco and cedar. Black cherries dominate the fruit component along with some crushed blackberry and currants. The oak, the tannins, and the acidity are so in balance. Beautiful wine. Can't wait to see how this baby evolves over the next decade or so.
Got a great deal on these for $59 a bottle. Bought many bottles a few years ago. Still showing well. Not the complexity of many other Monte Bello's, but floral with great red fruit. Very balanced. Like most 2000's, not going to age long periods. Makes this wine drink simillar to mid 90's cab's.
More bottle variation. This one was better than the last although not as good as the first. Rich and concentrated with some decent dried fruit note but rather flat, not complex at all as I have been expecting.
Had at dinner at Rob/Francine's with shrimp in tomato sauce. Unmistakably a Cab blend on the nose, tobacco, cedar and pine on the palate. Improved with time open. I thought it very good, but LC was less enthusiastic. Maybe not as complex as some Bordeaux, but tasty none-the-less.
Proving significant bottle-to-bottle variation this one was much better than the last. Everything was subtle and muted though, nose, fragrance, palate was medium fruit, finish fairly long. There's quite a lot still going on in this bottle, hopefully the other two I have will get better yet!
Was very excited to open this with all the hype but it was a HUGE disappointment. Maybe it had shut down, I don't know but there was very little I found award winning about this wine. It was flat, unimpressive and wow was the alcohol persistent, there was little or no change after a few hours and it was completely dead the next day. I've had MUCH better wine for MUCH less money.
Not the best bottle of the 2000 that I have consumed- could be shutting down as the aromatics and flavors were muted. I did not detect any TCA but can't rule it out. The prominent banana notes were very muted with this bottle. Still, a delicious bottle in a difficult year.
Drank one night with Carla, ohmigod it was good. This was a half bottle and it was drinking great right now. Deep rich fruit, the tannins were balanced and the oak had integrated very well. Great stuff.
I was a little underwhelmed -- it didn't really seem to develop much in the way of nose or palate. Jen was much more ethused than I was. Still have 3 bottles -- maybe they will be better under different circumstances.
Bright ruby. Very intense primary blackcurrant on nose. Attack is highly acidic but lubricated by very sweet oak. Intensity of fruit is also reflected with a very full midpalate, some medium weight tannins lurking beneath. Oak is slightly volatile on finish. Could rate up to 94/95 in time For me this was the only wine with primary American oak character (vanilla, coconut, slight volatility), so I have no doubt that these will soften and become integrated with time. A shame to drink this at such an early stage but a great reference point on young Monte Bello.
current, chocolate, cherry, good fruit. nicely layered, full bodied, big but not overpowering tannins, long finish. Not a blockbuster in-your-face sort of wine, one you have to pay attention to, instead. Nicely complex. One of best 2000’s out there...