Opened, poured into a decanter, rinsed the sediment out of the bottle, and poured back in. Took a small glass to taste. Brought the bottle to a friend's house and then tasted and followed for about 1 hour. Wow. Beautiful nose of red plums and cherries, with notes of fresh flowers and lead pencil. Full, rich and inviting; wonderfully balanced with good acidity. Tannins well integrated offering up a silky texture. Wonderful floral notes mixed in with some vanilla bean and spice notes. There is a lightness to the wine but such depth of flavors. This is an outstanding wine. Delicious.
Dark red and a touch of black fruit - dark cherry, currants, and plum. Smooth mid-palate with decent depth. Fairly rich and somewhat sweet. Decent finish but not much depth and also fairly short. Overall, solid bottle but I expected more in light of the 98 points from Galloni and also the price point. Drank next to a 2013 Carter Beckstoffer O.G. cab and I thought the Carter was quite a bit better - deeper fruit, better flavor profile, deeper/longer finish, etc.. Decanted for four hours and drank over another three. Improved with time. 72% cab, 22% merlot, and 6% petit verdot.
Opened and poured into a decanter. Tasted a sip. Served about 2 hours later with food (sausage and peppers, bread and cheese, and rice, pork and black beans, in case you were wondering). Followed over about a 3 hour period. Dark color; threw off some sediment while decanting. Nose of flowers and spice. Ripe red fruit, with an herbal element - touch of mint and some brown spices. Silky and elegant. I keep returning to the glass for more and, poof, it is gone. Delicious.
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(Ridge Monte Bello) Barrel sample, 1st assemblage - dark purple violet color; lovely berry, cassis, dill (American oak) nose; tight but hinting at plushness to come, cassis, tart berry, currant palate with depth; long finish 92-94 pts. (67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot; 13.1% alcohol) Components: Barrel sample - Cabernet Sauvignon from south slope, La Cuesta - opaque purple violet color; elegant cassis, menthol nose; American oak, tart cassis, cedar palate with firm tannins; medium-plus finish 92-94 pts. Barrel sample - Merlot from Avenue Block - dark purple violet color; reduction, rich berry, plum, toasty oak nose; quite lovely, tasty, tart plum, black fruit palate; medium finish 91-93+ pts. (so nice, I'm hopeful they'll bottle some by itself) Barrel sample - Petit Verdot from Olivos and Levassuer parcels - opaque purple violet color; lovely, herbaceous, pencil lead, asphalt nose; tight, concentrated, tart currant, red plum, pencil lead palate; medium-plus finish 91-93 pts. Barrel sample - Cabernet Franc (not in 1st assemblage for Monte Bello) - opaque dark scarlet color; ripe red berry, herbal, cherry, 80% cocoa dark chocolate nose; tart cassis, herbal palate with medium acidity; medium finish 89-91 pts.
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