My first MB with any age on it, and it was still very young. Uncorked at 8am and decanted at 7pm, it still took a few more hours to finally open up. More classic and restrained in style, the last glass offered something for everybody - new world fans and old. A wonderful cabernet that should last many more years.
For those who think this a Zinfandel dominated blend (as many around the table did), think again. In 2005 the make up was 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. A whole host of aromas and flavours flooded out, including, but not limited to: mocha, vanilla, and black cherry - the wine was well-balanced with great forceful tannins. I had read the wine still had plenty of time but I wanted to have it in its prime rather than cresting the hill. Seemed to be a hit with the prime rib we had for dinner, and then on its own afterward.
We decanted this and drank relatively unceremoniously. It came across as a good quality, balanced, not overdone in any way California BDX blend. Not mind blowing or particularly special but a really nice wine. Not a QPR wine but not at all disappointing at the price. Fwiw it drank to my palate better than the particular bottle of Bionic Frog alongside it.
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(Ridge Monte Bello) Dark ruby color; cassis, toasty oak nose; tight, tannic, cedar, tart cassis palate; needs 8-10 years, very shut down from when I first tried it a few years back; medium-plus finish 91+ points (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Nice big berry, plum cassis nose; very tasty berry, boysenberry, chocolate palate with good cedar edges and sage, good acidity; medium-plus finish (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc; 94% new American oak, 6% new French oak)
(Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon) A barrel sample. A massive presence of pure, concentrated, roasted cherry fruit, with lots of fruit complexity. The same character is found on the palate, which is brimming with youthful fruit. There is a good tannic structure. This is only a baby, but it has great potential.
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