Do you want the good news or the bad news? Well, Ridge's 2000 Monte Bello is still not ready to drink. Huge, rich and voluptuous, but backed up be serious structure, the 2000 is still a very, very young wine. Readers who own the 2000 should be thrilled. With time in the glass, the 2000 starts to open up a little bit aromatically, but the tannins remain imposing. Hints of tobacco, iron, smoke, savory herbs, leather and licorice all add nuance on the close. This dramatic, brooding Monte Bello will likely drink well for another three decades. In 2000, Montebello is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. (AG)
Bright, saturated ruby-red. Exotic aromas of black raspberry, chocolate and black licorice. Deeply sweet, sappy and ripe, with heady, mouthfilling flavors of black cherry, cassis, cola and incense. Finishes with broad tannins and mouthcoating persistence. (ST)
The 2000 Monte Bello Proprietary Red (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc) is a surprisingly forward example of a Ridge Monte Bello. Its dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by sweet toasty oak along with creme de cassis, licorice, and resin-like aromas. Medium to full-bodied, nicely textured, and elegant with soft tannin as well as a forward style (surprising in view of winemaker Paul Draper’s typical style), I would not be surprised to see it firm up considerably in the bottle...(RP)
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Half bottle. Seamless nose, fresh, great life and in great condition. Impeccable class and neatness. Vaguely herby - but not ‘green’ - just enough to lift. Chewy (qua satisfying), substantial, but tannins are beautiful, no hard edges at all. Proves how the best of California have become such good value versus Bordeaux of equal quality. 18/20 points (AH)
Well-proportioned if on a modest scale, with complex aromas of ripe plum, blackberry, black cherry and enticing flowers and herbs. Concentrated and vibrant, with fine balance and well-integrated tannins. Should age well over the next decade. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. (JL)
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