This is quite an unusual wine for Monte Bello. It is 14.2% alcohol but tastes higher. It is hot with alcohol in both the aroma and the taste. The color is still a bright, young purple. The taste is that of a blousy California cult wine with alcoholic heat, over-ripe stewed fruit compotes, licorice, and a long finish. Not something a Monte Bello fan would like, but will be appreciated by those who follow Parker.
Mature? Heck no. Delicious? Hell yes! Silky and soft on the front, with lots of stuffing that masks the structure on the back end. This is very pleasurable to drink now from 375 ml bottle. Long way to go, but luscious now.
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(Ridge Monte Bello) Dark red violet color; tart plum, VA, black fruit, menthol nose; nice ripe black fruit, charcoal, blackberry, menthol palate; medium-plus finish 93+ pts. (40th anniversary vintage; 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot)
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