Sister's Birthday Dinner: The cork had only come out half an inch and I had to pause to admire the intensely sweet fragrance, and I'm thinking this is going to be good. Sample pour is still quite tannic though and this needs every bit of 3 hours of slow-ox to drink well. Pretty much the complete package for Montebello, sweet high-toned red fruits, touch of resiny complexity, continues to improve over 2-3 more hours. This should hold for years. Cellared since release, my last bottle.
Had with a tomahawk steak with my mother. Not as powerful as the last 84 Monte Bello I drank a month ago; however, this was because we only spent about 1 hour letting it breathe. Cork was very brittle. This wine was closed for a long amount of time before hints of it's power started to open up. Currant, Raspberry, cocoa to the taste. Long, complex finish. Still a wonderful wine but to be consumed now. Don't hold any longer.
I could've better planned tasting this bottle :) Impromptu cellar pull with a dear pal visiting, so popped and dumped into decanter. Amusingly, this was strikingly similar to the Dec 2012 TN of my '85 MB:
Cork was bone dry and literally disintegrated. Poured into decanter and enjoyed with a buddy (no food, just bourbon!). This one was much darker in color than that '85. Similarly though, this had a slightly cloudy, impure appearance. 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 - almost sour - upon first tastes, but settled down after 30 min. Very round, soft primary bright red fruit - nice mouth feel but only a medium finish. All in all, an elegant, enjoyable drink, but I'm very surprised how primary this still seems! And certainly had higher hopes for this aged gem.
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(Ridge Monte Bello) Bricking medium dark red color; nice, plum, berry, herbal, loamy nose; lovely, youthful cassis, red plum palate with light cedar notes; medium-plus finish (group's WOTF; 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Group's #1 (my #1) – 58 pts; 4 1st place votes, 3 2nd place votes, 1 third, 0 last places – bricking medium red violet color; herbaceous, tobacco, olive nose; youthful, cassis, tart currant, menthol palate with depth and balance; medium-plus finish 94+ pts. (most youthful of our 8 1984 Cabs; I easily picked it out as the Monte Bello in our blindtasting, as did a few others)