No notes, going on memory. Deep, dark beautiful color with fairly bright edges, plus still a lot of acid and tannin, excellent length; full mouth feel, lovely residual sweetness; still with lots of life; big, blackberry and cassis aromas and flavors; sweet and slightly peppery nose; definitely a restrained, Bordeaux style Californian, with no excessive alcohol or oak.
For Christmas dinner, I poured a 1995 Ridge Monte Bello, which is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc, and for which I provided a detailed note on my blog in December 2013: http://www.professorbainbridge.com/professorbainbridgecom/2013/12/ridge-monte-bello-santa-cruz-mountains-1995.html
The cork on this bottle disintegrated upon opening and I ultimately had to push the remnants through the neck into the wine, which necessitated decanting through an unbleached coffee filter in a funnel. In short, an even worse mess than the 2013 bottle.
In 2013, I thought this wine was still too young. Tonight, however, it was drinking very well. To be sure, it's still very youthful in appearance--a deep ruby. The intense bouquet suggests cassis, blackberries, and blueberries. On the palate, the tannins have softened quite a lot, making it much more pleasant to drink. There are still a lot of red and black fruit associations, but there are now also maturity markers like leather and tobacco. I think it has at least another decade of potential improvement, but I would not blame you if you opened it tonight
Still a massive California Cabernet blend, seemed especially youthful after a bottle of the '84. Powerful nose with blackberry, blueberry, black currant (cassis). Good minerals, medium toast and vanilla on the palate. Maybe a touch hot (alcohol) and a little spicy. Really a great bottle though. Excellent wine with a bacon cheeseburger and fries.
This is drinking very well now with just the right amount of balance between fruit notes and more tertiary and developed characteristics. I think the wine can be safely cellared for a long time but I am more inclined to try a few more of these now as the fruit is pure with even the P Verdot showing a bit in the aftertaste. I also got some turned soil and the tannins are smooth and round. This is a great wine if you prefer more Bordeaux style flavors as opposed to typical west coast fruit bombs.
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(Ridge Monte Bello) Medium dark ruby color; nice, mature, herbal, cedar, stewed plum nose; mature, tasty, tart plum, cedar, herbal, American oak dill palate with medium acidity; at peak, should go 5-7 more years; medium-plus finish 92+ points (tasted much more mature than only 16 years old; 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Dark red violet color; lovely cassis, slightly herbal, plum, cedar nose; tight, youthful, tart cassis, red plum, cedar palate with a touch of herb; long finish 92+ points (69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc)
(Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon) This has a very good nose, very deep and meaty, complex, with some red fruit character alongside notes of pickling spices. The palate is quite complete and textured, and deeply structured. There is still a core of firm tannins, with a meaty style. This is very good indeed.
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