Still young, this tannic, fresh, crisp, crunchy, concentrated, full bodied wine offers a lot of potential. But 5-10 more years are needed before the blackberries, cassis, oak and earth come together, soften and become fun to drink. The wine was made from a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc.
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(Ridge Monte Bello) Dark red violet color; lovely berry, blackberry, black fruit nose; tight, tasty, blackberry, berry, oak tannins; long finish (needs 7-10 years; 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Barrel sample (66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc) (13.6% alcohol)– bright crimson color; lovely cassis, cherry and mint nose with a hint of olive tapenade; tasty palate of cassis and tart cherry, very tight but with plush and focused fruit and depth; medium-plus finish 92-94 pts.
2006 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Franc component barrel sample (from a site near the North Gate) – super bright crimson red; nice, focused, herbaceous and green olive nose; excellent Cab Franc, with good body, tart cherry, good acidity; medium finish 92 pts. (This is so good, we wondered if they might separately bottle some, as they did in '02. Current plans, though, are to simply include this in the '06 Monte Bello.)
2006 Ridge Monte Bello Petit Verdot component barrel sample (from the Olivos parcel) – crimson color; focused blackberry, cassis nose with a strong mint note; enters unassumingly, but opens in a burst of tart red fruit mid-palate; medium finish 90 pts. (the nose, and where it hits on the mid-palate, should make it a very useful component of the Monte Bello cuvee)
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