Absolutely spectacular! Thank you Matt Kramer for recommending this wine for me to purchase for my son on his birth year. This was my last of 3 bottles. This wine aged beautifully! Enjoyed it with family and friends.
A Ledbury lunch (The Ledbury): Dark, blackcurrant colour with little difference across the three Montebellos (92/96/99). The 92 is a little softer and relatively muted on the nose. Good core of reasonably sweet cassis fruit tempered by an elegance and line. Harmonious. Such a strong family line between three. ****
Beautiful deep, dark color... very forward fruit on the nose. Rich Cabernet fruit on the palate including dark berries & plums with a slight hint of spice. Finish was smooth & elegant as the bottle had aged perfectly. Excellent accompaniment to Prime Rib, twice baked potatoes, and grilled asparagus for Christmas dinner - 2014.
There's a bit of roulette involved with 22 year old cali cabs but this one came out on top today - giving one of its very best showings. Complex and pleasing with fruit, a ton of secondary flavors with some orange peel, black and red fruits and a touch of graphite. The total package so much better than the sum of its parts. One of the very best bottles of cal cab that I've had the pleasure to drink.
Even from a half bottle, the 1992 Monte Bello remains vivid and youthful, bursting from the glass with a bouquet of briary blackberry and wild plum fruit, with nuances of cedar and leather. There seems to be a brett influence here, which adds complexity but also imparts a slightly rustic character to the wine compared to more polished and polite vintages like 1991 or 1996. On the palate this 1992 is still vibrant and firm at the core, with a long, persistent finish. There is absolutely no rush to drink it, but it's offering a lot of interest right now.
Dark color. Nose still has hints of dill, but mostly expressive dark red fruits, violets, and sandalwood. On the palate, there is still good dark fruit, but not ripe and starting to fade to secondary elements of herbs and spice. Round, supple mouth feel but not at all heavy, balanced though I wish there was perhaps a touch more acidity. Finishes long with mostly resolved sweet tannin.
From the list at Golden Sheaf in Harrisburg. The waiter had some problems with the cork, and this had thrown quite a bit of sediment, but otherwise a pristine bottle and a pleasure to drink. Really an individual expression of CA. 13.2%
From a half bottle bought at the winery recently. Popped and poured. Dark red but no sign of bricking. Earth, black fruit, cassis, tobacco. Soft ripe tannins to balance the dark fruit and the acidity. Lots of cassis on the palate and a touch of mint. Still fruit driven but with an elegance to it . Great balance and complexity. If not a wow wine, just short of it. At peak, but could probably last for years considering this was from a half bottle. 92-93p
No time for detailed notes. While this was a little tough to read and did not necessarily promise future greatness, it is certainly too young right now. This might give some pleasure now with a very long decant, but if I had more I would try holding 8-12 years to see where it goes. Not scored.
Big, spicy, minty, rich bouquet, in a classic Californian mold, with some roast, some char. Sweet, lots of mint, juniper berries, and a cool streak of menthol, a big round slug of sweet Cali cab fruit on the attack, followed by brisk acids, good depth, and near perfect balance. Ready to go. Very classy but still a New World style in my book (not a criticism). There's a spicy, piney thing to the fruit that I get from lots of Priorats (must be the oak). My quibble is I'm not sure it's better than the lovely 1992 Ridge Santa Cruz Cab I had recently. 92 or 93 pts.
Very subdued at first. Nice aromatics of faint berries, saddle leather, hints of iron/blood. Palate quite complex. Soft berries followed by earthy leather, blueberries, Finish goes on and on. Very pleasant.
Deep crimson color. Aromas of black currants, black raspberry, sous bois and herbs- almost weedy. Medium-bodied, with dark fruit and a weedy, vegetal flavor on the palate. Improves quite a bit as it sits, becoming more perfumed and florally in the bouquet, along with a melange of red and black fruits and worn saddle leather. Red fruit- currants, violets, herbs and green tobacco flavors. Long finish; balanced. I guessed "old school" Napa Cab.
Unusual mixture of mature and immature; Still somewhat sturdy while at the same time showing rather lots of tertiary flavors as one would find in a very old wine. May not be a perfect bottle, as the cork was completely brittle and crumbled into a thousand pieces. Still a very nice drink, but we'll see how it holds up the next day.
Brought to Angelo's Prime 667 in Albany for dinner with Virgil & Monica. Decanted on the spot. A touch sour on the nose initial, but opens up after 15 minutes. Gorgeous and balanced. Mature but still with beautiful fruit and a long finish. This showed really well tonight. Need to find an occasion to pop that mag.
Still quite young upon opening with dominant flavors of tea, minerality, and tannins. Decant for at least an hour before serving. With decanting it becomes smoother, the tannins recede, and copious fruit emerges. Flavors include black cherries, licorice, tobacco, juicy black berries, tea, and the signature aromas of Monte Bello beets. Well made, completely balanced. This still needs 5 - 8 years of additional cellaring to reach its peak. It has a lot to offer. Try again in 2018.
Vår tredje flaske, perfekt flaske på The Gilt for to år siden, og en litt sliten halvflaske på Clos Maggiore i februar. Denne var nær flasken på The Gilt. Paulliac med noko attåt. Parfymert, lett på foten og, hold deg fast Andreas Viestad, feminin. Utrolig elegant. Tertiær, men likevel med en klar underliggende frukt av solbær og noe bjørnebær(?). Pen syre og avslepne tanniner. Drikker perfekt nå.
From a half bottle, library release from the winery two years ago. Very dark color, opaque garnet with some brown tinges, nose is a wonderful melange of truffles, earth, mushrooms, old wood; beautifully developed rich, dark, plummy fruit, great acidity, fine tannins, hints of truffle, roasted mushroom, grilled meat, gorgeous wine. This is really at peak from half bottle, has plenty of life left. I would say that full bottles are still on the upswing, and should easily go another decade before hitting peak and starting down the other side.
Clumsy handling may have impacted the performance of this bottle. Staff ran through Vinturi despite being told to decant only. Cork came out in many pieces. Decanted through Vinturi and consumed over two hour meal. Medium-dark red color. Beguiling aromatics with cherry, plum, currant, anise, and the beginnings of some cedar and pencil notes. Palate has fully integrated tannins that frame a lush red-fruited wine with cedar and vanilla accents and a licorice note that comes through on a long finish. Satisfying, and to expectations, but not at the level of a bottle a few years ago and I suspect service was involved in the perceived partial miss on this bottle. My favorite of the '90-'92 Monte Bellos, still. Drink or hold.
Cork came out perfectly, and the wonderful aromas charging out of the bottle put a great smile on our faces. Decanted for a little more than an hour. Very youthful. No bricking. Fabulous nose of blackberry, with a bit of leather, tobacco and spice, but mostly dark fruit. Full and velvety in the mouth. A bit of chocolate, but with refreshing acidity and good tannic back-bone. Best wine I've had in a long time.
Ridge Vineyards Post Harvest Celebration Tasting: Medium garnet color with earthy, cassis, black cherry aromas. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, fresh, complex, and balanced with well integrated sweet tannins, and cassis, black cherry, and mineral flavors. Long finish. From 375 ml
Tobacco, cassis, earth and spicy dark berry scents led to a medium/full bodied, tannic wine. It was surprising to find this much tannin in a 20 year old Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine felt dry in the mouth and could be seen as an austere style of Ridge. It shows like it needs more time. but at 20 years of age, it is what it is. Some tasters are clearly going to enjoy this wine more than I did. I sensed the quality, but this blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc did not offer nearly as much pleasure as the 1991.
Enjoyed this wine over two nights. Gorgeous nose right out of the gate, with a big blend of tobacco, cassis, and floral aromatics and a slight whiff of mint. Even with a long decant, it was still a bit grippy on the palate, with the tobacco of the nose mingling with iron and oak spice flavors. The secondary aromas and tastes truly dominated, even to the point of making me wish there was a little more fruit to balance things out. Everything smoothed out the second night as the wine gave more of a finessed, silky mouthfeel. Clearly, twenty years of age was not enough, and it would be fun to try this beauty in another 5, 10, or 15 years to see what else it might reveal.
A beautiful classy bouquet of redcurrant, leather, cedar, and graphite introduce this fine wine. On the palate, she is medium full in body with great concentration to the flavors of redcurrants, berries, and cedar. In addition, there is great structure here, with excellent sophisticated tannins and medium high acidity. A graceful beauty of elegance, class and sophistication. Drinking beautifully!
Bordeaux like nose and complexity with Calif fruit. This bottle aged beautifully - Ridge ages as well as any Calif wine.
Classic Ridge flavors, black fruit, cedar, tobacco, floral nose. Big mouthfeel but very elegant.This bottle opened up pretty quickly, was showing well after 15 minutes hitting stride in about an hour. Would decant for an hour with next bottle.
Would have been WOTN but drank this next to a 1990 Lynch Bages which was unbeatable. This wine still has years ahead of it, drinking beautifully right now
Decanted for 4 hours and drank over the next 3 hours. It was WOTN against several '89 and '90 Bordeaux. Beautiful nose followed by a rich, complex, balanced taste. I would say that the wine is at its prime and could be drunk over the next 5 to 10 years.
Double-decanted 4 hours in advance and still took its time to open up. Initially very Cabernet Sauvignon character, but all came into beautiful balance when drunk with pork cooked with oranges and jerusalem artichokes (!). Then it was powerful but subtle, exciting and lively, long and gorgeous.
Need about one hour to open up, not decanted, 2nd time tasting this vintage in the last 2 months, both good. i was struck both times by how elegant yet powerful this wine was. The nose is classic Bordeaux with lots of complexity, tannins are quite well integrated but there is still a lot of life left in this wine, probably many years. becoming a big fan of Ridge now.
upon opening smelled a bit dead and upon first taste was shut down and borderline over the hill. With about an hour of air this thing was humming. Massive floral nose with ripe berries, tobacco, and some cedar. really impressed with the structure and the sweet fruits. Holding amazing well for 19years
San Antonio Wine Geeks - Double Blind Cali Cabs (Home of Steve T.): ’92 MB– Sensational wine to start the evening. Slow o’d and only half the bottle remaining on arrival. Fantastic flamboyant inviting nose with tell-tale Montebello character—green pepper, tobacco leaf, mint/eucalyptus. Fleshy, lively mouthfeel, with great depth and complexity adding a long mocha finish. This is really just starting to come into it’s own. On par with the ’90 and still a step behind the ’94 though the oak was more tactful this year.
Ridge Vineyards and Monte Bello Masterclass at the Decanter Fine Experience (Landmark Hotel, London): Deep red colour, slightly faded at the edge. Nose with noticeable barnyard notes, ripe fruit with blackcurrants, plum compote, dried spices, sweetish and nuanced. Very similar to the nose of a developed Bordeaux, possibly with some right bank character. Slightly more sweetish nose than the 1995. Full bodied -, palate with ripe dark berries, quite noticeable tannins but of a softened character, spicy, quite concentrated aromas. Accessible, nuanced, but still rather young! 94-95 p
From half bottle! And it is so great that I awarded my highest score of the tasting here! Wow!
Discovered 3 bottles of 1992 Ridge Montebello in the cellar. Opened and ran thru Vinturi - less fruit than in previous tastings but still remarkably robust. Pronounced tannins but softened with even 15 minutes delay after decanting. Black fruits, leather, mineral/flint edge. nose is parsimonious but palate very pleasing.
80% Cab Sauv, 11% Merlot, 9% Cab Franc. Cork is in good condition. Color shows slight signs of age but still a deep rich purple black hue as a whole. Nose shows a promising aroma of anise driven blackberries, plums, figs and dates as well as some strong iron and volcanic soil. The weight on the tongue is excellent. Masculine but royal and elegant. Some serious finesse and supple action on the back end. The finish has some heat still showing though the label only says 13.4% alcohol. An excellent vintage of Monte Bello still showing fairly well. Though the heat may die down over the next few years, a lot of the fruit has been replaced by mineral and rock driven aromatics and flavors.
Wow. Last time I had this wine four years ago I thought it was slightly going over the hill. If that was the case I was wrong. Tonight -- a depth of color, luminescence with only slight bricking at the rim. On the nose: leather, animal, cedar but with a core of red and black fruit. On the palate: the definition of umami. Rich, succlent, graceful, full of verve. It drank like water. In a word, wonderful and a treat. I would guess that it is at its absolute peak. Had side by side with a 2000 Gruard Larose (another wonderful wine), which was clearly outclassed by the Monte Bello. But somehow I managed to love them both. Cheers!
Ridge Fall Release Celebration (Ridge Monte Bello Vineyard): Poured from magnum. I hate to be the odd man out here, but I found little to rave about. The nose was very mushroomy and fungal, with some leather as well. On the palate the wine was thin and acidic with red currant fruit in the background. Nice soft tannins consistent with a wine of this age. I never would have guessed this was an aged Monte Bello. Very disappointing.
Consumed at The Vineyards Wine Company with family in celebration of Tyler's baptism.
Decanted 30 minutes prior to drinking. Beautiful wine expressing all of the nuances of a well made, aged Cabernet Sauvignon. Wonderful nose of cherry and mushrooms. Very smooth on the palate with more red cherries, cassis, mushrooms, licorice and chocolate. Just a touch of tannins.
A very good to excellent bottle, which blossomed over a three hour period, and therefore was probably consumed several years too early, especially given it's exceptional bouquet. In marked contrast to my previous two bottles, this was dark, still showing slightly unresolved tannins, albeit silky ones, and was just a bit monolithic on the mid-palate and finish which was a bit shorter than ideal. Still elegant, with cassis, tobacco, currants, and a whiff of volatile acidity. A classic "old-fashioned" California cab. Must buy more.
Very nice wine. Evolved over the course of a few hours. Started off leather on the nose, red fruit on the palate. Ended eucalyptus on the nose and muted black fruit on the palate. Lots of earth throughout, fine tanins on the finish. Not a long finish, but very enjoyable cab. In a nice spot.
Dark red-violet, very young looking. Aromas are slow to open, but in two hours giving cassis, licorice, cedar chest and a dusting of a complex spice cabinet. Medium tannin, medium-low acidity. Fairly stout wild red currants on the palate (quite intense) with some bell pepper and olive. Finishes with very long, fruit and herb and tannin balance. Old fashioned cabernet, low alcohol. Quite young at 19 years old but drinking well. Bottle #5 of six.
Currant paste, pebble, sage, tobacco and pencil lead. Silky tannins, lovely finish and nice body. Youthful and truly lively, with the secondary nuances in full-swing at the same time. Not Bordeaux, not Napa; pure Santa Cruz. Drink now - 2018.
Spontaneous Mini Ridge Monte Bello Vertical (Home): From 375mL direct from winery. Popped 4 hrs. before tasting. Still very dark, nearly opaque crimson. Beautiful nose of berries, pine needles, maybe a hint of leather. Cherries on the palate, though still a lot of tannins possibly holding back even more red fruit. Medium-long finish with a touch of orange rind. This has a ton of life left and is probably not even in its prime. (80% CS/11% M/9% PV)
Friday Dinner at Crown Wine Cellars (Crown Wine Cellars, 18 Deep Water Bay Drive, Shouson Hill, Hong Kong): Purple-tinged and completely opaque black/red colour. Nose is charcoal-ish, still fresh-sawn box wood, everything is still very young, briarberries fruit. Palate is WOW! wonderful matured blackberry with great pureness and cassis intensity....almost like Ribena concentrate in a bottle from my childhood. Gorgeous fresh, vibrant acidity. Perfectly balanced and resolved but still with a stout spine of tannin to keep everything in place. Like a lean but elegant Lafite. Very complete. Understated length and resonance that just goes on and on and on. Just has that extra sophistication over the Dominus 1992 and Pahlmeyer 1996 we drank alonside it. Continued to improve even 5 hours after opening. Gosh.......95+.
I have not had enough experience with wines over 15+ years of age to rate. Given CT comments, decanted for 2+ hours - wine looked young (clear around the edges with a touch of brown and mostly dark red) - On nose, cassis, cedar and faint touch of red licorice. On palate, medium body, surprisingly vibrant acidity and consistent with the nose - very long finish and tannins were well integrated. 92-94 if rating the wine today. Very enjoyable.
Fabulous. Fruit, tannin and acidity are all perfectly balanced, drinking well now. Wonderful notes of chocolate and dark fruits. Remarkably similar to a great vintage of Lynch-Bages. Had it with steak au poivre and it was a perfect combination.
drunk next to a great bottle of palmer from the 80's which was a mistake as this bottle of ridge still very young full of fresh california fruit , mint and euculyptus. full lush and long. very good bottle but would have shown even more not next to a fantastic maturing claret
Dark nose almost old world. Tannins nicely integrated now and still has lots of life. Some pepper on palate. Docked it a few points considering its price point. Maybe I did not give the wine a fair chance as only decanted for one hour prior to dinner and beginning consumption.
taste: classy medium/full feel with good tannins. Lovely tones of cedar, menthol, tobacco, black cherries and bits of dark berries blend well together. Comes off as understated on the palate with really good depth and medium+ acidity
overall: my no6, group's no2. To me this just didn't seem fully ready for primetime, or at least it wasn't giving me its all in the glass. Following up the 91 was a hard act to follow and this was rather taught for me in both the glass and on the palate. It needs a real good decant or more time sideways as the color on it wasn't really showing much age to it, and there was certainly no way to guess that this was about to turn 17 years old if the vintage wasn't known
Waterford slides to Hinterland. (Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub, Milwaukee): Decanted 4.5 hours. the center is barely opaque and the edge just a hint of browning. really doesn't look 17 years old. very present blackberry expression on the nose and that elegant anise acting as the choir director to make everything else sing. iron and definitely a hint of potpourri. soon iron and granite dominate the nose and surely whafts of cinnamon just before my first taste. delicate touch in the mouth. what tender tannin and delicate fruit on the palate. the violet is so present on the finish. what a beauty.
i concur.......... this is a fantastic example of a great California cab. i've had it from a 750 ml and from a magnum & it does not disappoint. OH CONTRAIRE ! Dark color, cassis & spices, and ripe tannins make for an ethereal glass of vino .............. a heavenly wine !!!
Damned good bottle of Calif cab. Pretty much everything you want, but not either too heavy or too ripe - over the top. All the standard flavors / descriptors for these kinds of wines, went great with the ribeye...
The older Ridge's are always a pleasure to drink. While I feel the '91 is the best of the bunch, the '92 is similar in style, but with a little less fruit (relatively speaking as these are not fruit bombs). As usual, takes about 90 minutes for the wine to really open up and then drinks well for the next few hours. Leather, earth and graphite on the nose, sour cherry and plums on the palate with a long dry finish. A great american version of a Bordeaux blend.
Dominated by sweet cassis from the opening bell. On the nose, the palate; you could smell it from accross the table on the first pour. Amazing purity and persistance here, and also very generous and plush for a Monte Bello. Still enough tannin to support a long, caressing finish. This wine is peaking (if it hasn't, in fact, already peaked), and will hold out for perhaps some time yet, but I see no reason to wait.
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.
Ridge Monte Bello Tasting (The Wine Summit, Lake Louise, Alberta): 80% CS, 11% M, 9% PV – 13.4% ALC. From 22 separate small tanks – 40% held back– isolating the less intense wines from the final blend. Very dark ruby in colour; cleaner nose than the ’88 – more expression of pure currant fruit – sweet smoke; round and full on the palate; excellent acidity; supple and balanced on a firm structure; sweet black currant berry fruit, slightly tart in a pleasing way; very long finish with the fruit dominating – still a few soft tannins to resolve. At 15 years of age this wine still has some excellent potential for longevity and evolving bouquet and flavour nuances
The Wine Summit at The Post Hotel in Lake Louise Alberta Canada was fortunate to have Mr. Paul Draper as one of the presenters. After taking us all down a brief but interesting trip down memory lane, Mr Draper lead us trough a technical tasting of 8 Monte Bellos covering a range or 23 years. Draper explained 75% cab, 11% merlot, 10 % petit verdot, and 4 % cab franc. Dark inky purple in the glass and very viscous on the glass. I got the licorice before Paul mentioned it and it had an earthy smell that was plaeasant like right after a rain. In the mouth, I was still trying to get the fruit others had mentioned but got pepper, mineral, and maybe a mild pomegranate taste. This was a really nice unique wine. No I did not spit this one and it was only about 11:20 am.
IWFSC 734th Dinner (Spiaggia): Wow, I thought the barolo would be the easy WOTN and I did not expect this to show nearly so well. Full deep black purple color. Spactacular nose of cassis and spicy candied red fruit. Nice rich sweet black fruit on the palate with pencil lead and good acidity. Drinking at its peak, I would guess. Delicious.
Drunk at the Hawksmoor at lunch with lots of clarets and steaks.Decanted for 2 hours.Big dark wine, nose of black fruits and some sweet spice, drank well with the clarets as it doesnt have the same kind of dry tanins, finer and sweeter, very lush and full.lacks some of the finish length of some of the other wines we had that lunch but very good
Garnet with a hint of orange at the rim. Nose initially was shy, but over the course of the evening it slowly opened up, like a rose bud. Black fruits, spices, tobacco. Taste was simial, black fruits, spices, a hint of licorice. It gave a 95 Angelus a run for its money. Wonderful.
Drunk at Hawksmooe decanted for an hour and eaten with areally goood rib eye. dark purple wine with a huge nose of dark purple fruits, licorce and minty eucalyptus. in the mouth big thick viscous wine, really wakes you up, blackberries and currants and really fills mouth up from front to back..very long finish..this wine got better and better over lunchand i cant wait to see what it is like in 10yrs
Shamefully drank this during a nice dinner, pop and poured in the decanter. Like taking a baby from the womb at 6 months. Still tight, and wow the tannins are a strong pucker up finish after a explosion of fruit and flavors in the palate. Yummy. This is a great wine, still in it's youth. Hands off for 5 years plus.
Incredibly youthful and still rather tight. Chocolate, licorice, slightly musty cedar and dark fruits. Full bodied with just the enough tannin to give texture and grip. Needs another 5-7 years to show its best. My rating reflects my waning interest in Cab based wines and the quality of the Littorai One Acre Pinot tasted at the same time.
This was by far the wine of the trip. We opened the 2002 Insignia at the same time and I had a strong preference for the Monte Bello. It's why we age good Cab. Perfect balance, good use of the cab franc, etc... i think it's a "bargain" at $125 per bottle.
Atlanta Off-line with Ron Kramer (Bones Restaurant, Atlanta, GA): Not decanted? Rich dark cassis and dark chocolate nose that I couldn’t get enough of. Youthfull, dark cassis flavors with vanilla and deep mocha layered nicely with substantial depth. Supple, full, and round body with slightly chalky and still prominent tannins that expanded nicely on the mid-palate with a vigorous finish. This continued to open up the longer it was in the glass and still has plenty of life ahead. This very rich, fruit forward and oak infused California Cab stands in amazing contrast to the more earthy, dense, mineral driven 1990 Monte Bello.
Ridge's Montebello is a delicious wonderfully balanced wine. Even for its age, it's nose had a freshness rather than musty and damp. It was a well rounded wine with very tame tannins and good concentration of fruit. This vintage was more expressive and expansive than the 94 mag. This wine still lacks what most of the big Harlans, Bryants and Colgin have... a big long lasting finish.
Dark ruby red. Almost Chateauneuf-like on the nose with hints of dark berries and cassis, but more so Cardamom and Cinnamon. Tight core, yet with excellently defined fruit with delicious sweetness of flavour and rich intensity. A superb wine that would have merited a score in the upper ninetees had it it not been for a somewhat lean and tart finish. In all other respects a great wine.
80% Cabernet Sauvignon; 20% Merlot Mature colour. Very good nose - lots of interest, with some farmyard and lots of brambly fruit. Superb mouthfeel. Excellent fruit on the palate. Very good structure and quite multi-dimensional. Excellent.
Historic note (recorded Aug 06). Purple/black on pouring with a dense, opaque core of red. Massive extraction. Rather closed nose despite a triple decant but hints of mulberries, wood smoke (hickory?) and a bit of tobacco. Ripe cassis flavours but very tight; Bordeaux restraint rather than Californian openness. Eucalyptus on the nose after an hour or so and flavour is a bit more forthcoming but still very closed. Great potential - possibly a 96 score - but I wouldn't touch this again until after 2010.