Decent enough. Others below capture the tastes. This was a rather one note wine tonight without complexity. The other I have should wait until either others start suggesting it is ready or maybe five plus years.
Popped, breathed in bottle 60 minutes, consumed over next sixty. Surprisingly enjoyable already. Fascinating, complex, lovely balance, with unique savory notes that make this wine very distinct and pleasurable and contribute to the tantalizing, expanding, firm but refined and friendly tannic finish.
decanted for about 2 hours (the black fruits wafted up from the decanter immediately). rich with dark fruit, floral and bramble/spice notes. on the palate, this is focused with tannins lifting the fruit extract and acid to support the richness. at this point, this wine is quite enjoyable but the fruit is all wrapped up in the acid/tannin. i suspect this will soften with time and evolve into something quite beautiful - try another in 5 years.
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(Ridge Monte Bello) Barrel sample, 1st assemblage - dark purple violet color; lovely berry, cassis, dill (American oak) nose; tight but hinting at plushness to come, cassis, tart berry, currant palate with depth; long finish 92-94 pts. (67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot; 13.1% alcohol) Components: Barrel sample - Cabernet Sauvignon from south slope, La Cuesta - opaque purple violet color; elegant cassis, menthol nose; American oak, tart cassis, cedar palate with firm tannins; medium-plus finish 92-94 pts. Barrel sample - Merlot from Avenue Block - dark purple violet color; reduction, rich berry, plum, toasty oak nose; quite lovely, tasty, tart plum, black fruit palate; medium finish 91-93+ pts. (so nice, I'm hopeful they'll bottle some by itself) Barrel sample - Petit Verdot from Olivos and Levassuer parcels - opaque purple violet color; lovely, herbaceous, pencil lead, asphalt nose; tight, concentrated, tart currant, red plum, pencil lead palate; medium-plus finish 91-93 pts. Barrel sample - Cabernet Franc (not in 1st assemblage for Monte Bello) - opaque dark scarlet color; ripe red berry, herbal, cherry, 80% cocoa dark chocolate nose; tart cassis, herbal palate with medium acidity; medium finish 89-91 pts.
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