This was really good. Explosive nose of smoke and currant that really lifts. Blackberry, currant, some fresh berry like unfermented juice, just a hint of oak and mint. Tannins are a bit heavy, maybe slightly distracting, but that's a nit. Really quite nice.
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.
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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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