Glossy Dark red color, soft texture in the mouth, almost velvetry. Delicate tanins, medium persistence and pronounced reartaste. I did expect more from this wine, since Its 73 vintage won Paris Judgement second edition, but it is very good to drink right now. I left it breathing for one hour before consuption.
Decanted for about an hour before having with beef stew, then drank over the following three hours. I know this was too young, but I have enough that I felt like checking on it. It was fantastic and glad I did. It really showed pretty well right out of the gate, as I had a taste right after popping it open. Aroma showed a good level of dark fruits with tar and graphite (pencil shavings). The taste had a bit of a lighter fruit profile than the nose - more of a raspberry than blackberry. Really nice acidity on this throughout the palate as well. It's hard to imagine this may get even better, but I look forward to the rest of my bottles.
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(Ridge Monte Bello) Very dark maroon color; very appealing, lifted, ripe black currant, violets, blackberry, graphite nose; rich, delicious, ripe black currant, blackberry, violets, ripe black fruit palate with firm, sweet tannins; needs 7-8 years; medium-plus finish (74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc; 13.2% alcohol; 96% American oak, 4% new French oak for 18 months; yield of 83.5 tons from 58 acres)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Barrel sample (final assemblage) - purple red violet color; lifted, richly herbal, pencil lead, dark plum nose; delicious, very young, rich, red currant, cassis, red berry, green herb, gun flint palate with black plum undertones and sweet tannins; needs 10-12 years; long finish 94-95 points (74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc)
(Ridge Monte Bello) First assemblage barrel sample - nearly opaque crimson color; lovely, complex, olive, herbaceous, tart cassis, tart currant nose; tasty, tart currant, tart cassis, olive, herbaceous palate, like a St. Julien from a ripe year; long finish 93-95 points (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc) 2010 Merlot component barrel sample - medium dark purple red violet color; primary, lavender, berry, raspberry nose; tight, tart red plum, herbaceous, tart red currant palate with near medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90-91 points (Bowl Block) 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon component barrel sample - dark magenta color; lovely, rich and complex tart cassis, green peppercorn, green olive nose; tasty, poised, tart cassis, green olive, red currant palate with lift; medium finish 92-95 points (Fosters Block) 2010 Petit Verdot component barrel sample - opaque purple red violet color; hint of pencil lead, tart red plum, red berry, black fruit nose; rich, lovely, tart black fruit, pencil lead, graphite palate; medium-plus finish 93-96 points (Olivos Block)
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