2017 Ridge Merlot Perrone Monte Bello

Community Tasting Notes

Community Tasting Notes (4) Avg Score: 91 points

  • Napa 2023: the quieter version; 2/6/2023-2/11/2023 (Napa/Sonoma California): Darker red fruits, very plush, more intense. Very high tannin. Very young. Needs a long time.

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  • Off-purple red with excellent clarity and a really outstanding exploding minty/merlot nose. If I were rating it on aroma, it would get a 95. Light weight on the palate consistent with the terrific 12.5% alcohol. The label says "Tannins...will continue resolving in the bottle." I found the tannin structure to be over-the-top, so much so that only the strongest/spiciest foods would stand up to the tannins. I bought 3 bottles based on the Vinous rating. We'll see if the other 2 bottles reach "tannin resolution" with time.

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  • Pours slightly hazy purple. Aromas of cherries and blackberries and a hint of baking spices. The palate is shockingly light and fruity… drinks like a French vin de soif, full of crunchy black cherry and blackberry fruit. Reminds me almost of something like a natty Jurançon Noir. The comparison falls apart, though, when the creamy oak kicks in, and in the complete absence of any sort of funk. Finishes off with tart cherry acidity, a feeling of crushed gravel, and dusty tannins. Only 12.5%! Ridge still rocking like it’s 1973.

    This is, of course, a wine that needs food. Drank it over 3 days with 3 different dinners: Steak with creamed spinach, Fennel and ricotta risotto, and pork chops with mushroom cream sauce and saffron rice. Pretty good with the steak and the pork chops, as you might have imagined, but the dark cherry fruit simply does something with the fennel and the cheese in the risotto… makes everything feel so creamy and silky in the palate. An absolutely stellar pairing that was completely unexpected.

    I can see how it can fall flat in a tasting flight, but it absolutely rocked in a real world situation.

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  • Had this alongside the other “wines of Monte Bello” tasting I hosted which included the Estate Merlot, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Rousten Cabernet Franc, and Monte Bello (which was tasted last and on its own), all 2017. The group all agreed that this wine was by far the least enjoyable. I don’t think the bottle was bad, but it certainly was not what any of us were expecting. Very tart fruit with a finish that fell extremely flat. Maybe it just needs more time in the bottle?

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