2013 Ridge Monte Bello

Community Tasting Notes

Community Tasting Notes (65) Avg Score: 94.3 points

  • Special International tasting group (@ Zarzo, Eindhoven, The Netherlands): Youthful bouquet with ripe black berries and beautifully dosed oak. On the palate a firm wine with licorice, smoke, some tar, chocolate, dark berries, cherries, firm acidity and tannin. A mouth full of great wine with a future of several decades. Really great to taste this again.

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  • Here we are on a fine sunny afternoon with my girl on the terraces, so nothing but high class bottles are on duty!
    choose this one for another try, admittedly do know that this one is a "little" young too, pnp,
    strong fragrance of ripe dark fruit, dark sweet cherry, fine spicy note, balsamic too,
    WOW, and this from me, not really a friend of most New World wines, but this one is different, not hitting the palate like a juicy fruit thunderbolt, no, very good delicate fruit grip, great flavor deepness, ripe rich fruit, black cherry, some cassis, fine cuban tobacco, finesse like flow, this bottle is all about elegance, very lingering finish, youthful but more than promising! Can be enjoyed from now on with aeration but will hold for some decades, **(**-*****), 94-96(+) potential

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  • Still a baby, nearing perfection. The wine is beautifully balanced with tremendous length and finesse. Has decades left and will reward patience.

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  • 1 hour decant

    Young nose with ripe, fresh, and scintillating red fruit, minerals and a touch of licorice. Body is more mellow with fine, medium structure, and young tannins leading into a medium plus finish. Upside from here but still young.

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  • It's a good deal. I have friends with the younger vintages and I open the older years for them. Yes, this is frightfully young, yet, with its wealth of perfectly ripe, fresh, refined, bright, energetic fruits, it is disarmingly easy to drink now. Full-bodied, concentrated, rich and also light on its feet, the nose, with its blackberry, currant, tobacco leaf, vanilla, smoke and espresso bean it just great. But it is the length, purity and elegance paired with all that power on the palate that knocks you out. Another decade in the cellar will only add more complexity. This is a top vintage of Monte Bello that fans of this wine should not miss. The wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot.

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  • Second time having this wine, this seems to have shut down a bit. Wet stone, dark fruits and a decent amount of dill on this wine. Still very polished and round, few hard edges remain. I decanted for 8 hours and still not enough. The wine months ago was so balanced with fruit and oak and just soared on the mid palate. Truly exceptional. This still has the same makeup but a bit out of balance. Secondary flavors evolving but not yet settled. I will wait 5 more years for my next bottle but still believe this is one of the best MB ever

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  • Wonderful, like the best Bordeaux, vintage incredible. Will buy every bottle I find and revisit in 10-20 years

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  • My second time with the 2013.
    This is an excellent wine on the same level as a the best vintages of a Bordeaux 1:er cru.
    But this needs quite a lot of time. Decanted at 19.00 and our dinner lasted until 24.00, but this was still quite tannic.
    Decant at least 10 hours in advance.

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  • 1st time drinking this wine. Probably the most Bordeaux like wine I have ever had from California. Minerals and wet stone on the nose. Elegant with restrained fruit and much lower alcohol than typical in Cali wines. Enjoyed the change of pace although the finish was not overly long or complex.

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  • World Class wine. Bargain at twice the price. New world 1st Growth. It's very young . I will leT the rest of my 2 cases sit for a few years. Cassis , bit of tar and great tannins. Hint of tartness that really sings. Great effort .

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  • To fool my terraces crowd pnp this one, they were guessing all four points of the compass, but california was missing, great showing, that young, but ripe and very delicious tannin to keep the flow on the palate demanding, cassis, cassis, cassis and some mineralic hints, for me a little bit like stone licking in red, reminds me of enjoying a Riesling, this time a red one! Finesse pure, still ababy, but if you pop one of these you will never stop till finished the whole bottle, for me one of the most classic blends from the new world, vintage after vintage, and worth every single €, $ or whatever you are paying with! Give this bottle a try with a decent decant of at least four hours, or wait for maybe 5(+) years or better, a decade+, **(**-*****?), 93- 96(+?), 93 for now

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  • I tasted this Monte Bello upon release 18 months ago. At that time, the wine showed its immense potential (rated 97 points) mainly thanks to its incredible complexity. We found the wine for a reasonable price on a restaurant list and the temptation was just too big to not check the progress since then (I will not touch my own bottles for at least 10 more years). On our request the somm decanted the wine for approx. 12 hours and boy, the wine showed again great. Very, very deep, complex, quite singular aromatic profile, high precision and good but dense structure which has to mellow. Potential for 97-100 points is definitely there. The wine is not yet there but still, it was drinking very good with this long decant and was at least a 95 point experience.

    TN: Lots of fresh pine tree, graphite, pencil shavings, black tee, melted licorice, dark forest berries, some sweet brighter berries, coconut hints. Every nose and every sip revealed new flavors and a mix I’ve never had before. The precision is remarkable. The structure is dense with big, noticeable but smooth tannins, a high but very well integrated acidity. Here lies the biggest upside. More time will mellow the structure and with all the stuffing the wine already has, it will become a masterpiece by then.

    Decanting: Give it at least 10 hours in the decanter.

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  • Tasted blind at IGNIV in Bad Ragaz. 10h decant which is clearly required if you want to pop a bottle at this stage. Amazingly intense ripe fruit (cassis but also mixed forest berries), graphite and pencil shavings, spruce oil (like walking through a spruce forest, actually), sweet Christmas spices, eucalyptus and black tea. Rock solid structure and multifarious texture. On the palate lots of tangible tannins, but feeling soft with an overall round, fruity and oaky sensation.

    This was no doubt the wine of the night. In all likelihood still far away from its peak, but the nose is jaw-dropping already and with increasing bottle age this may once again become hall of fame worthy legend. Looking forward to tasting this time and again over the next 20 years and possibly beyond.

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  • Wine of the night at a dinner at Grand Hôtel Quellenhof in Bad Ragaz. Decanted for 10 hours. Is supposed to grow into a 98+ point wine in the next 20 years.

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  • Utterly fantastic bottle of wine. Decanted for 6 hours. Not a hard edge on this wine. Tight tannin with blueberry, cassis and bakers spice. So well rounded and fruit and oak are in perfect harmony, and I mean perfect. This wine will age forever and i suggest holding off. But I had 8 bottles and had to give it a go,.and was well rewarded. Monte Bello is top 3 all time favorite wines and this may have been best I have had.

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  • Tasting: A very good vintage for Montebello. A bit modern, but done in a nice way. The wine of the tasting. My third vintage of this wine; 97, 2012 and 2013.

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  • 开瓶后妖娆的桶味满溢而出,各种香草、咸奶油、烟丝和皮革的香气,包裹着黑色水果的果味。尽管年轻,单宁并未太过抢镜,且入口后酸度良好,陈年后随着甜腻木香的消散,会迎来更平衡的口感。

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  • too young now, but great potential

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  • A good wine friend's 50th birthday. (@ PCr): This is still a baby, but a beautiful one. Concentrated berries, beautifully dosed oak, good acidity and youthful but yet round and sticky tannin. Great beauty and a great future! 96 - 98+

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  • Yes, babykilling...I know...but 'the boss' (my wife) insisted on drinking a Monte Bello if I was to keep buying them vintage after vintage, and this was the first vintage I bought into, and a good 'early drinking' example, so this was it.

    Decanted for two hours, no sneak previews whatsoever, and upon first pour the nose was explosive in its perfume, really expressive and unique. There are obvious Cab Sauv/Bordeaux blend characteristics like kirsch, sandalwood, bright red fruits, but there's a really unique quality to it, perhaps fennel? It's one of those aromas that is so complex you need a PhD to outline each specific scent - black, red, and blue fruits, cedar, oak, smokiness (but not too much), heavily tanned saddle leather, and a MASSIVE dose of what I would call nearly-baked sugar cookies - doughy but not raw, parts from both but if you pulled one out you'd get a lot of vanilla but also that toasty cookie goodness. I know this is meant to enjoy in 20 or more years but holy hell is it wonderful right now.

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  • We decanted for only 30 minutes. Wine was quite closed. Good structure and balance. Blackberries, cassis and sweet tobacco. My first Monte Bello. I expected far more given price and reviews. A wine to revisit no before 5 or 10 years.

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  • två inlagda ..hittar bara en. ?

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  • This wine is truly divine!! I’m so fortunate to be able to drink this amazing wine (and am thankful to have more in the cellar). Draper hit it out of the park on this one. Beautiful minerality / earthiness coupled with perfectly integrated tannins and concentrated plum, black cherry and vanilla. If the 2012 was first place in round 3 of the JoP...this trumps that wine. WOW!!

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  • Should have kept my hands off! Please hold for another 4 years or more. Has all the right elements that I am sure will come together nicely with age

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  • Nice, but not sure about price

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  • Slox ox 3 hours. Deep ruby, pronounce and complex aroma of violet, earth, blackberry, toast, dark chocolate, graphite, sweet spices, well integrating oak. Supreme balance on palate, sharp acidity, rich texture, palate filling ripe sweet tannins, focus and concentrated mid palate of blackberry and blackcherry, sandalwood, graphite, cedar wood, clove, nutmeg. Delicious lengthy finish. So delicious now already, will easily age for two decades.

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  • Tasted during a WA event "a matter of taste" walk about, so no tasting notes, only occasional impressions. This was the wine of the tasting. Wonderful CavSav with dark fruit, great Eucalyptus notes. No surprise, Ridge Monte Bello delivers again. I have tasted all California Cult wines over the years (from Harlan to ScrEagle) and this is my favorite wine from the USA. I also think climate change will play into its hands. Napa is getting hotter and hotter, so are other regions. Being high up in the Santa Cruze Mountains is and will be a plus. Also, Paul Daper never went for the thick blockbuster style with his Bordeaux blends. Today it becomes clear that he has one of the very best US CabSav in his cellar. Try his 94 or 97 and you will know how well it ages. Ripe, dense, yet fresh, perfumey with balanced tannins. Young, drink after 2023.

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  • Fantastic wine! Popped and poured. A perfect mix between Napa and Bordeaux. Had it in a tasting with roughly twenty other wines. And it won by a wide margin. Had to open a bottle a few days later. Very intersting dark fruit, herbal, chalky aromas in the nose. Hyper interesting and intriguing. Full bodied, dense, thick with very smooth (considering how young the wine is) and slighty sweet tannins but a lot of freshness to keep it light. Red, blue, black fruit, minerality, some menthol aromas, other herbal aromas... this just has it all. With time in the glas (and decanter, 2h) it evolved and closed down a bit (tannins more prominent). So either don't decant it or do it for 6, 8 or probably better 10 hours. How good will this one be in 10 years?

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  • Drinks with Friends (Pago): This was a WOW wine. Tannins are still very tight, but I don't even know how to describe it so much was going on. Not a fruit bomb California Cabernet, but people that like that style would be happy... Also would make Bordeaux lovers happy, perfectly in between the 2 styles. Monte Bello, to me, is the greatest American wine and this did not disappoint.

    This wine was also proof for me that you can make an amazing California Cab at below 14% Alcohol... This one checks in at 13.6%

    If I wasn't so cheap I'd buy a case of this tomorrow...

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  • 23 Vintages of Château La Conseillante 1947-2011: Plum, bonfire; some eucalyptus, primary, very good tannins, big extract but still refined, blueberries.

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  • Inky purple. Rich shifting aroma of black cherries, mint, graphite, chocolate, with a lovely top note of dry aromatic wood. On the palate a cloak of dark fruit woven from firm tannins and a shimmering acid trim, with a shockingly long finish that wakes and shakes the soul. An amazing wine. 50 + 18 + 19 + 10 = 97.

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  • Very highly pigmented, paints the glass ruby purple with slow legs.
    Fruity and perfumed nose, developed toast after some time in the glass.
    Very tannic, high in alcohol and acid. Needs more time to integrate and mellow. Full bodied with cassis, plum and toast.
    Long fine finish.

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  • 375ml bottled slow O-ed in a 1000ml flask for one hour. Noticed a bit of sediment during the decant. Color is very dark and indicative of a young Cabernet Sauvignon based wine. A very rich wine on the nose with omnipresent dark fruit, which might be the result of higher than normal percentages of Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc and, conversely, a lower percentage of Merlot, in the final blend. Palate is amazingly approachable for such a young wine. Rich, dark berry flavors, cranberry, and red stone fruits dominate this wine. I don't smell or taste the oak all that much. Tannins are refined and round, but hidden by the abundance of approachable fruit. At one hour in the glass, I notice raspberry, sour cherry, and cassis throughout the palate, as well as a bit of sweet plum skin tannins on this finish and a touch of raspberry/watermelon at the very end. Even detected a fleeting hint of eucalyptus just for a second. This will be a fun wine to follow as the fruit evolves and the refined tannins keep their balance. I think this wine will always be approachable perhaps much like left-bank ’82s or ‘85s, which have aged beautifully without an awkward period. Who knows, just enjoy!

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  • no proper notes - Plum, cedar tree, blackberry, tobacco, well balanced, very well structured, and relative high acidity and outstanding quality, 92-94p

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  • 2013 Ridge Wineyards, Montebello
    Tight. Kirsebær, tobakk, vanilje, kaffe, sedertre. Tight nå. Trenger tid. Flørtende lang ettersmak. Friskere enn estate Cabernet Sauvignon. 93

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  • A wonderfully aromatic display of cedar, spearmint, chocolate, black currants and toasted bread. An artfully balanced palate; full bodied and distinctly flavoured, suitable for early drinking or med-term ageing. Very long, toasty, cocoa finish.
    5/5
    *sampled from 375mL bottle. The label suggest ageing 15-35 years, I hope so... but based the flavours and structure, I think it will peak much sooner; the larger bottle formats should last longer.

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  • Bad bottle possible?

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  • Winter in Wineland; 1/14/2017-1/20/2017 (Sonoma & Napa): The star of the show and probably my WOTD although really it's wildly too young to be drinking now. Surprisingly more approachable than I would have thought for a '13, but everything is just a little too tight and a little too muted. The oak is also a bit more dominant now. Has the right stuffing though to be a beautiful wine in 20-3 years. Already very lovely.

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  • When I arrived home from the airport last night, much to my horror, I saw an empty bottle of this sitting on my desk. My wife had a girlfriend over while I was out of town, and they decided to open a cab while watching the kids play outside. She left the empty bottle on my desk because she knows I like to track inventory in Cellar Tracker. She commented that it was "too young" but "pretty good" and her friend "really liked it". There may have been some chips and salsa they paired this with - not sure. I later explained to my wife the cost of this bottle and read her the many glorious critic reviews that all stated to wait ten years or more before opening. Needless to say, I will be locking my wine cabinet going forward. Excellent wine, but suggest holding...under lock and key.

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  • This year has less Merlot then usually. Aged on 100% new American oak.
    This is a opulent and powerful wine that still manages to stay intense. The nose and palate contains an abundance of cassis, cedar, vanilla, violet and blackberries. The acidity is rather soft and stays in the background, still the wine keeps a rather intense expression. Tannins are grippy and rather sandy at the moment. I think the wine is surprisingly approachable already but it should be stored.

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  • Deep ruby colour with tinted legs. The nose shows pronounced intensity aromas of ripe black currants, cassis, dark plums, smoke, cedar and hints of vanilla, green bell pepper and tobacco leaf.

    The wine is dry in the mouth with a medium acidity. It has a medium+ alcohol and high fine-grained tannins. It has a full body and pronounced intensity flavours. The finish is very long.

    It is an outstanding quality wine. It shows complexity provided by oak ageing and it has a lingering finish. It has very concentrated flavours that balance the alcohol and tannic structure.

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  • Tasted at the Monte Bello Winery.
    Good nose full of fruits. Very soft and round on the palate - not powerfull at all at the moment. Silky tannins with a medium long finish. In my opinion it lacks a bit behind the also tasted 2013 Perrone Merlot in regards of power and structure. Time wil tell...

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  • MW Institute 2013 American Cabernet Tasting, lovely floral nose of mint, blackberry, black currants, briar, and a touch of sage, same on the palate, fairly fruit forward, mouth filling fruit, big body, great clarity of focus and richness today, medium amount of soft, silky tannins showing 4 years to peak, and a long, long finish. In the top 3 Cabernet Sauvignons tasted today.

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  • Institute of Masters of Wine - 2013 Cabernet Walk-Around Tasting (Hyatt, San Francisco): Aromatic, with black cherry and blackcurrant. There’s some purple fruit - reminds me of the varietal Petit Verdot I tasted in the 2013 blending event. Blackberry as well. Good acidity - a bit simple and juicy on the midpalate. Medium tannins - rounded and open already.

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  • Visit to Ridge (Ridge Vineyards): Holy cow, this is absolutely stacked. A clearly darker, richer color than the other wines. At first it shows lots of oak and cedar on the nose and is not very expressive, but with air it begins to open up. Backward and extremely tannic but the tannins are ripe and fine and the dusty, brambly cassis fruit shows super midpalate concentration, leading to a powerful ripe fruit finish. Great power and weight but with wonderful poise, it makes the Torre Cab seem wimpy and childish. Right now this is mostly just showing potential but given the track record here I would bet on this improving for 25+ years.

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  • Tasted at the Monte Bello Vineyard.

    This is one of the top five cabs in California. Wine will only get better with time but is completely in balance now. Smells like toasted almonds, violets, dark fruits and herbs.

    Tannins are perfectly round and the wine has a great acidity.

    Not any kind of "bomb." Just an exceptionally well balanced wine with great aromatics and a lovely finish that will appeal to those whose tastes run more Beethoven than Wagner.

    -af

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  • Tasted at the winery in Santa Cruz mountains. Extracted from the bottle using a coravin; in a flight with the '03 and '93. Closed hot nose with oak and faint leather. On the palate big chewy tannins, almost overpowering the fruit. Hot red fruit, acid. Very much like a brash Bdx. Good but way (!) too young and closed to be showing its full potential today. I'm guessing at least 10+ years are needed for the obtrusive tannins to calm the heck down. My least favorite of the flight. If you are going to try this tannic beast I recommend some serious decanting (4+h) and aeration.

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  • blackberries, blueberries, plums, asian tea, cedar, eucalyptus , fine tobacco, supple big tannins. A+

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  • Tasted from two different bottles at the winery, one double decanted this morning, the other left over from yesterday. This vintage of Monte Bello has a bit higher percentage of Cab, Petite Verdot and Cab Franc and less Merlot in it than usual I'm told. It is opaque garnet with less of the purple edge that I have seen prodigiously in all the 2013 Cab's I have been tasting lately, but still a little at this young age. The blend still smells and tastes like a Monte Bello but at this early stage seems to have a bit more tobacco, graphite and chocolate in the nose in addition to the black fruit, minty edge and rich earthiness. There was a big difference between the two bottles as the one open 2 days was much more supple, round and fragrant than the other. There was enough tannin to age effortlessly for years, though it seems in perfect balance. On the palate it is rich and mouth coating with cedar, tobacco, chocolate, blackberry and black plum. Absolutely exceptional, nearly perfect! With time ...Who knows ?

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  • Had at their tasting room in Lytton Springs. Opened previous day, but still tight nose, but complex and balanced with dark fruit and spice. Palate smoothest of all of the wines tasted before despite having much more density and tannins. Better acidity than other Ridge too. 80% Cab. A bit smoky, medicinal, mint, herbs. Most elegant despite underlying potency. Back end could follow through a little more. A lot more to come. 94+
    https://winediplomats.com/

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  • Tasted at the winery, this is going to be a beauty. Very young and, honestly, not worth drinking at this point without a significant decant. Even still, lots of complexity and balance.

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  • Tasted at Ridge. Way too young to drink, of course... but fun to taste. Another excellent vintage - although not quite as spectacularly good as '12, I think. As ever with Monte Bellos, a truly superb nose - and a beautifully balanced wine. One to revisit in 10-12 yrs, and one likely to evolve for decades.

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  • Similar aroma and flavor profile to 2014 tasting. Tannins are maturing slowly. Still needs a few more years.

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  • 2016 Bassin's California Barrel Tasting (Mandarin Oriental D.C.): First time trying any Monte Bello's and here I get to compare 2013-2015. All similar especially as my notes here are pretty poor. A bit unique relative to the Napa cabs, reminds me more of Alexander Valley. Some savory and minty components. Quite nice overall. Preferred 15 the most, then 14, then 13 but these are all very close. These will obviously evolve over a long time so I really don't have experience to judge them well now. Let's call this one 90-92.

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  • Very tight, excellent balance. Check in 2020

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  • Ridge Monte Bello component tasting (and a Meursault!) (Ridge Vineyards, Santa Cruz, CA): 80c 8pv 7cf 5m
    Wow! Stewed peppers. Blackcurrant. Range of fruits. Gingerbread and toasted coconut (amer oak). Elegant structure. Concentrated and structured but with elegant structure and balance.
    M body, m alc, m+ acid, m+ tannins

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  • Ridge Monte Bello Tasting (Ridge Monte Bello, Cupertino): Lovely nose with red fruit, black fruit, nice floral, American oak; palate is full bodied, ripe blackcurrant, very balanced alcohol and medium-plus acid, fresh; long finish. This is very, very nice. 95-96

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  • Go West! Tasting (The QEII Centre, Westminster, London): Massive complex nose, ripe fruit squeezed between spice and oak, fine and ethereal despite its strength. The palate is also big, elegant and a bit restrained as it is now, smoke, spiced complexity, bright black fruit, fine tannins, chocolate and coffee infused long finish. Still a very very young wine, outstanding quality. Would be great to see how this one will age 93+

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  • Quite closed on the nose - blackcurrant, spices, and darker chocolate at the palate. Medium finish, but quite massive concentration - Would develop the next 20 years. 93-94p. Highly reccomended.

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  • 30th Addy Bassin's California Barrel Tasting (The Mandarin Oriental Hotel): 89-91

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  • California Tasting (Barrel Tasting and an slight older): Tannins 8.5/10

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  • Very tannic and extracted, black fruit, too tannic, not my taste!

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  • Aroma: rich and complex with aromas of blackberries, blueberries, roasted meat, graphite, green pepper and vanilla.
    Palate: youthful and moderate body with flavors of cherries, blackberries, red currant, green pepper, black pepper, vanilla, chocolate and pencil lead. Green, puckery tannins are not overwhelming. May be a somewhat early drinker for a Monte Bello.

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  • Barrel sample of final assemblage (80% CS, 8% PV, 7% CF and 5% Merlot). Sweet dill and vanilla oak over black fruits on the nose, with some nice spice box elements. The palate shows rich, dark berry flavors without any heaviness, rather it is pretty clenched and firm, with a good dollop of acid and a lot of fine grained tannins. Finishes quite dry with good persistence. Another classic MB to lay down for 20 years.

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  • Assemblage tasting: Bright and dense with red to black fruits. Right now a bit tight, firm acid, and very firm tannin and a bit backward (esp compared to some of the last few vintages showed well fairly early particularly the 2009 which showed more stuffing early), but should be big, solid and structured with good balance, somewhat like the 2010. 93+
    80% CS, 8% PV, 7% CF, 5% M
    Note the minimal Merlot component. It's the lowest I'm aware of. Draper states they pick barrels blinded to the varietal, and the blend is done solely based on the palate without any % in mind.

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