Sigh. LOVE all MB's, especially the older ones. We all know too well that at this age, bottle variation rules the day. This bottle (from same case, prep'd the exact same way as my previous success: brief decant to clean bottle night before, then served with dinner) showed just average, tired, unremarkable. Disappointing because the previous one a year ago was terrific. I suppose it's possible I was supposed to let this consume air even longer?! It's such a leap of faith with older wines, that they will continue to fill out with many hours open. I'm always concerned about drying them out. Especially when you just want to sit with it and watch it change over a couple hours - not much sense in trying to rush that along at age 20+, right?! Cross fingers and keep drinking these up, I believe.
A modern style of Ridge. Still very young with ripe and sweet fruit, hints of vegetal notes, and very pronounced vanilla and wood notes. Dark earth, coffee grounds, bell pepper. Velvety tannins and smooth mouthfeel. Overly ripe nose and heavy vanilla on the palate detract from the overall experience
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(Ridge Monte Bello) From 375 ml - very dark red violet color; cigar box, smoke, dried berry, dried currant nose; tart currant, cassis, dried red fruit, tart red berry palate with depth, but needs to integrate yet, sense of different moving parts; medium-plus finish 92+ pts. (73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc; decanted for 2 and a half hours)
(Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello) Another dense and backward wine, although with time this one opens a little more than the last, revealing blackcurrant and blackberry aromas. Obviously a youthful wine on the palate, which carries it's powerful Cabernet fruit, tannin and acidity in an awkward fashion. Lush and beautifully textured. The structure is all there, but like the 1993 this wine needs five years at least.
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