A Ledbury lunch (The Ledbury): Dark and really quite dense. Blackcurrant. Similar on the nose, blackcurrant with a sense of ripeness/sweetness. Cool and refined on the attack with a sweet-fruited mid-palate and a minerally frame. Such a strong family line. This one a little more outgoing and with a slightly brighter personality, but qualitatively there's so little in it. Really lovely. ****
From .375. Classic and lovely nose, if a bit reticent at first. Spot-on and classically rendered, cool cabernet fruit, cassis, dark fruits. Very intense and deep. The nose began to open with some air and the palate tightened up at the same time. Definite tannins that still need to be resolved. This is very good now, and it is easy to see the potential. However, it is years away from prime time and full development of the complexity I am sure will develop, even in this format. Back to the cellar! (90 - 92 now, but with huge upside potential.)
Something was off in this bottle, a funky, Brett prescience that superseded all other flavors in the bottle. 1999 appears to have been a wasted, flawed year over at Ridge. I think I remember Jimmy Laube reporting on problems in their cellar at around that time and my experience with this wine bears this out.
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(Ridge Monte Bello) Medium dark ruby color with slight bricking; lovely, lifted, raspberry, ripe plum, herbal, seaweed nose; tasty, silky textured, maturing but still youthful, tart cassis, cedar, herbal, dried seaweed palate; long finish (72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot)
(Ridge Monte Bello) Very dark red violet color; berry, cassis, beets, beef jus nose; maturing, beef jus, green peppercorn, berry, iron, black fruit and fig palate; medium-plus finish (on a faster evolutionary track than the average Monte Bello, but still elegant and with years ahead of it)
(Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon) Wow! This has a very expressive nose, with piles of pure, deep, blue and black fruits on the nose. The palate is rather svelte, structured and yet balanced, rather more elegant than obvious. Rich, impressive wine, deep and spicy, with a core of ripe tannins which rally on the finish. Excellent, with great potential still.
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