Mature Ridge among friends (North Square, NYC): Up against a tough crowd of '85 & '96 Ridge Monte Bello, this sure held its own while easily showing its under-card position. A nose of pretty red fruits and spring flowers, palate shows red currants and plum. Perfectly matured and maybe just a nitch below on the lively fruit especially againstthe '85 Monte Bello, this was no slouch. More feminine and along on its apparent road of maturity. Fully resolved tannins and very nice balance with some notes of cedar, mushroom and earth present. While not as 'wow',, quite admirable in its own right.
As noted on the back label, this was a declassified Monte Bello. Nose - green bamboo stalk and smooth black currant. Gritty, char, mature cedar, fully mature cherry-ish fruit, hint of tobacco. Fairly simple, but quite nice.
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(Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Estate) Medium bricking red color with pale meniscus; tart cassis, cedar, tobacco nose; tart red plum, cassis, dill palate with firm, sweet tannins; medium-plus finish (96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot)