Right on the edge of being corked - is the nose weedy, or musty? Regardless, this probably isn't right, but this is one of the only wines on the table that's not on the downslope, as it has a nice, full palate with fresh cassis and herbs. Shame about whatever was going on with the nose.
Clear. Clean. Developed. Intense nose, rich fruits with a complex array of tertiary aromas. Elegant, seductive, but also fairly powerfull. With time and airation, the developed aromas emerges and takes away some of the sweet fruits. The acidity and tannins hamonizes with the body and mouthfeel of the wine. Ripe, fine tannins holds it together in a long lasting finish. A very good wine.
Medium red color, garnet-edged. Beautiful nose: bay leaf, green olive, strong primary fruit (cherry), oak spice (cinnamon, vanilla, pencil box), hint of juniper bush. On arrival, medium-low tannin and balanced acidity. Supple and rich in the mouth, in an ideal state for current drinking and yet there's a sense it could have hold many years more. Savory finish, slightly drying. Bottle #3 of four.
Tasted double blind (as it turns out, among 4 FR/4 CA in the 82-86 vintages), though I suspected this tasting was mostly Bdx(-blends). Was informed the wine was opened a couple hours in advance, and decanted about an hour. My early double blind notes: "awesome. super full, rich and lush, done in an elegant style." Implicit in that was that I believed most of what were drinking was French. So I was at least fooled in origin, but not intent! Looked, smelled and tasted younger than 1985; I had it pegged for 89-early 90s, as I did many of the other wines. This was fabulous and, in its own right, quite different than my last (very bottle variant!) tasting of this. Wonderful long finish. My #1 of 8 for WOTN
American Belle 2nd Edition (Switzerland): Tasted blind: Mature red. Nose of malt, leather and coffee. Acidity and tannins are present. This specific bottle is unbalanced and not as good as other encounters I had with this wine. I suggest a sub optimal (not badly) stored bottle..
Echoing Leve & Salil's comments below. This showed beautifully - significantly better than my first bottle. This one was upright for weeks in advance (does it help THAT much?!). PnP from VTS filled 750ml. Red fruit nose with hint of mint. Fruit was alive and well - purity; roundness of palate, along with lovely structure. In a great place now, but I imagine this is beginning its decline. A real treat - enjoy before 2018
Carrots & Chicken (Vernon, CT): This was very nice, with plenty of structure to age (med-high tannin, high acid) and the red and black cherry fruit to age with it. A beautiful showing now. Sweet fruit, tobacco, long finish. Excellent. My 2/7
Superb; impeccably balanced, so polished and texturally refined, and drinking so well right now. It has a rather high toned minty/herbal fragrance leading into a palate full of ripe red and dark fruit that's framed by more savoury earthy, vanilla and cedary elements, and it's at the stage where the flavours and structural elements all seem to come into a single, seamless whole.
Cali Night @ Air St- med dark color, mint freshness on the nose, good earth dark red fruit, medium weight, medium length, first ridge of the night and it was a very nice bottle..I love drinking older ridge, really classic wine
Full disclosure: enormous MB fan. I recently bought 2 '84s & '85s (before which, I hadn't ever tasted older than '97) so, had huge hopes. Stood the bottle up for 30 mins, then attempted to PnP fr 750. Cork was bone dry and literally disintegrated. Poured into decanter (didn't have cheese cloth handy so, dealt with the small amount of schrapnel) and enjoyed with a buddy (no food). Ruby color, barely bricking. Impure appearance - rather cloudy. Slightly muted nose, of pleasant blackberry and hints of eucalyptus. Again, the adage of "there are only good bottles" at this age seemed to be telling the story. Wine was pretty astringent upon first tastes, but settled down after 30 min. Very round, soft primary bright red fruit - nice mouthfeel but only a medium finish. All in all, a lovely drink, but I certainly had higher hopes for this aged gem. Fingers crossed on the last one.....the ceiling remains high, obviously!
Drinking perfectly today, with a nose dominated by earth, dark red and black fruits, wood and tobacco, the wine was round, clean, fresh and pure, finishing with ripe red and black fruits. It's not the 1991, but it's a very nice example of a mature, traditional, California, Caberent Sauvignon.
Gift from my wife for Father's day. Open it same day! Wine is amazing, deep color on the glass, but lighter aged color on boader of glass. On the nose some nice sexy fresh red fruit and on the palate some acidity with a slight hint of orange. This cab is aging superbly well. Residual acidity tells me wine will continue it age, but somehow I believe it might have reached its peak. Drink now.
This wine had a nice ruby center with a good amount of Amber coloring on the rim. Lots of sediment. After 15-30 minutes of air this began to come around nicely. The aroma began with tar, coffee and cedar, but with more time dried cherry and cranberries. This wine on the palate was very caressing and velvety, was a beautiful thing. More notes of bright red fruits and when your glass was almost empty you would get a heavy amount of an oily finish on your palate with almost no fruit hitting you, something I had never experienced with wine before. I read the label on the back of the wine and on there the winemaker notes stated that they feel they had "made a 25 year wine of superb quality". To that I say they were absolutely right! This wine was 25 years old from when it was bottled in 1987 and it was singing along well. If you have this drink it now. It is not going to improve. Not bad for $100 purchase :)
Ridge- Monte Bello 1975-1991 (Beacon Restaurant): (93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 13.1% alc.) A darker and less ebullient wine than the '84, it shows more of a classic Monte Bello profile of rich black currant and blackberry, with much more obvious oak, black olive and a more prominent herb character. It's a coarser and more tannic wine that could definitely use more time for the oak to become better integrated, to shed some tannins and to develop a little more complexity, but the fruit is plush and sweet, making it a quite enjoyable drink. A-.
Our anniversary wine!Took about 15 minutes to open up and kept gaining strength over 2 hours. Garnet with some bricking; cherries, woodsy, herbal aromas; interesting palate, tart cherry, eucalyptus, cedar; fine tannins, nice acidity, long finish. Paired perfectly with grilled sirloin and mushroom risotto.
Dinner at l'Artusi 2/23/2012 (West Village): Cherry red, touch of brick. Chalky, eucalyptus, green-state nose; as Sarah said, "air is not its friend," at least not in the first hour open. Palate medium bodied, tannic, simple cherry fruit, and aggressively acidic. The palate broadened and sweetened up much later in the evening. Decent, not great length. A bit of a "meh."
This was not a great showing for this wine, and didn't hold a candle to the '86 Josh, who also brought this wine tonight, opened a couple of weeks ago that was freaking epic. He thought this was still showing young; I am not so sure. I will say that I can imagine this wine showing completely differently in a different context. It was not short on character, it was just rather tight and strict. And ornery.
likely one of the best aged california cab blends I have ever had (and I have had quite a few). Amazing power, fruit, structure and balance. Great complexity and most of all a delicious wine - was one of the real stars in an all star line up from arounf the world....
Acker Merrall Inaugural Chicago Auction (Trump International Hotel): Starts with good spice on nose. Big black fruit on palate, more primary than secondary, accompanies by same spice. Good acidity helps provide good textures and reasonable length. A very good older-styled, even Bordeax-styled, Monte Bello that I wouldn't be surprised if it's still getting better.
Very cool nose - menthol and plummy fruit. Nice mix of bordeaux and cali aspects. Very structured on the palate - great balance: more menthol, herbal, along with deep sweet fruit. Nose - 5.5/6, Palate - 5/6, Finish - 5/6, Je Ne Sais Quoi - 2/2 = 17.5/20.
Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Day Library Tasting: Slight bricking; medium garnet color with dark red fruit, leather, herbal/mineral aromas. On the palate smooth, mature, and round with cassis, black cherry, and mineral flavors. Long finish. Granted I've not tasted a 20th century wine in the 21st century before, but I was amazed a 26 y.o. wine could be so wonderful! 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot. 13.1% ABV
Youthful, raspberry and sweet fruits on the nose, I could smell this for hours. A little disappointing on the palate after the multidimensional nose, with a hint of cardboard at first, but still luscious and held its own with the top Bordos in the grouping.
Really enjoyed this tonight. Paired against a '74 Louis martini. Great fruit and acidity, plenty of time to go with this but drinks great now. This is a classic American wine, not one of those new-age fruit bombs.
Deep red color. The faintest of bricking around the edges -- barely noticeable. Haunting nose of tobacco, menthol, blackberries, leather and cherry. I could smell this for hours. Plenty of dark fruit on the palate with some dust. Medium+ acidity. Tannins are completely integrated -- medium mouthfeel. Finish is going on and on and on. Beautifully structured and balanced. This is a gem.
Super. Heavy charcoal and dirt with the early garnet color - opened up beautifully with a short decant just in time for lamb shank pairing. Still has a few years in it no problem, so the other in my cellar will continue to lie.
Opened this after the Schrader - wanted to drink something more old world style after that fruit bomb. Lots of oak and raspberry on the nose. Blackberry, mint, green spice, cedar, mushroom and tobacco on the palate. Nice texture with the usually, slightly acidic Santa Cruz finish.
Caramel, oak, clove, creosote, very sweet caramel/oak nose. Seems "new-world-ish" with its relative sweetness. Texture is still tight and gripping, with density and fantastic balance of fruit/earthiness. Some dill and ripe fruit combined with the caramel/vanilla are the only drawbacks for me- too much AM oak? This is a forward and oak driven MB, but a great wine for sure and still dense and full.
Had this new Year's eve dinner with friends Phil and Carol at our house. Nice color and complex nose and palate. We thought it had a bit better structure and balace compared to the 1989 Pichon Lalande we als had. The Pichon and the Monte Bello made for a wonderful experience with beef tenderloin.
Fantastic bottle. WOTN in blind tasting with some stiff competition from pre-86 Bordeaux and California cabs. Wonderful complexity on the nose with great length. Well stored bottles will easily last another 10-15 years. It improved in the glass all night. I expect that this bottle is still not at its peak, but it is drinking wonderfully now. Ridge did well with its '84 and '85 Monte Bellos.
WOW!!! Experiencing this wonderful 21-year old gem was a real treat. Minimal decanting time - paired with Ribeye steak, grilled asparagus and artichoke mashed potatoes. Cork healthy and intact. Beautiful deep crimson color - only slightly fading on the edges. Big nose of stewed dark fruit, couple with barnyard dust ("Draper Dust"). Medium mouthfeel. Incredible taste, fruit is showing very well - balanced with dust and a bit of oak - all components have integrated perfectly. Smooth and long finish. Overall a pure joy and continual proof that the Ridge Monte Bello is one of California's best age-worthy Cab offerings. Peaking now - drink within 18 months.