2017 Ridge Monte Bello

Community Tasting Notes

Community Tasting Notes (6) Avg Score: 93 points

  • Decanted at cellar temperature for 3 hours. Purple in color. 13.7% ABV. The final blend was 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Breathtaking nose of cool blue and black fruits, creme de cassis, espresso and graphite. Immensely concentrated and powerful with a sense of finesse. The classic iron fist in a velvet glove. Black currants, blueberries, truffles and tobacco on the palate. The finish is long and seamless with ever so silky tannins. Thrilling wine that threads the needle between old and new world. A Monte Bello for the ages. This should hit it’s stride in about 10 years and drink well to 2050.

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  • I buy MB every year (I’m a MB “Collector”) and this is distinctly the darkest and most obviously American-oaky MB in recent memory. Not that is super ripe, but the fruit is curiously dark, closer to licorice/coffee than the pure cassis I associate with MB. Loads of vanilla and dill. Not the strongest MB vintage for my palate.

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  • What a difference a month makes!!
    Last month I tasted the first assemblage of the Monte Bello and I was not too impressed with the strong coffee note that was present.
    One month later and the wine tastes completely different. The very strong coffee note is now almost gone. There is still a slight hint of it, which I don't mind at all. It is now well balanced with good flavors of dark fruit, tannin's and some coffee.
    I have to say last month I was questioning the direction the wine maker was taking. Now I am convinced that they absolutely know what they are doing. This wine is designed to age well over several decades to come. And I am sure it will only improve further with age.

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  • Went to the first assemblage tasting where you can try the 4 components separately that make up the 2017 Monte Bello, and then you can taste the first blend itself. The Merlot was excellent. Great fruit, great color. I'd buy it as a standalone item. The Petit Verdot was also very good. As expected it was a strong red-purple with fantastic fruit. I was really disappointed with the Cab Franc and the Cab Sauvignon. The Cab Franc by itself was not very impressive, although I can see where it adds dimension in the final blend. The Cab Sauvignon has strong notes of coffee, both on the nose and on the palate. That same coffee note was ever present in the blend itself. Other years of Monte Bello did not have such a distinctive coffee note and one can hope that it will diminish over time for the 2017 as well.
    The blend itself was smooth and despite being very young it did not overpower with tannin's, which is good for now, but may impact longevity of this particular vintage.
    I can't say enough good things about Monte Bello's in general, but this particular vintage left something to be desired - so far. The wine is not done, it is still being refined and we'll see over the next few months how the next blends will compare.

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  • Ridge Monte Bello Components Tasting (Ridge Monte Bello, Cupertino): 1st assemblage. For the components, the merlot was weak, the petit Verdot was excellent, the Cabernet franc was particularly ripe with plummy fruit, and the cab sauv was balanced but riper fruit. The blend is complex aromatics with spice, red and black fruits, no hint of green; palate is full bodied, medium-plus structured tannins, medium acidity, balanced fruit; medium finish. Approachable younger than most Monte Bello. Excellent, but maybe younger drinking? 91

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  • Tasted at the 1st assemblage event, all 4 components and the first proposed blend. I get some herbaceous and freshly fermented grapes aromas on the nose, almost VA but not quite. The palate is lovely even at this young age, sweet ripe grapey fruit. Well balanced with very refined fine grained tannins. Drying on the finish. Should be another strong Monte Bello.

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