Labeled "Ridge Cabernet-Merlot Monte Bello", as psmith notes below. Ruby color, no sign of age. Powerful Bordeaux-like nose (black pepper), could go on smelling this forever. The Merlot is prominent. Slightly acidic on palate, a little spritz. Aside from these features, the wine tastes very restful and mellow, with good but not great depth. The gorgeous nose would bring me back to this one.
Impromptu drinking (Columbus, OH): Labeled as "Ridge California Cabernet/Merlot Monte Bello" with a 85/15% Cab/Merlot blend with only 11 barrel total production. Seems like it may be an experimental wine. Color-wise showing very few signs of bricking or age. Classic, merlot influenced wine showing plum, menthol, and mushroom notes along with a distinct green streak. Grainy, tannic palate. Would never guess this is 30 years old, but hard to believe the fruit will last as long as the tannins. Enjoyable, and impressively robust, but not special.
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(Ridge Cabernet-Merlot Monte Bello) Group's #3 (my #4) – 44 pts; 1, 1, 3, 0 – Dark garnet with pale meniscus; lanolin, cassis and leather nose; lighter bodied, tart red fruit, cherry, with an herbal quality; short-medium finish 87+ pts.