A distinctly Old World profile emerges from the 1981 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello. Iron, smoke, herbs, dried cherries, mint and tobacco are some of the signatures. The firm tannins ensure the 1981 will drink well for another handful of years, give or take, but the edges are a bit frayed. I don't see much upside from further cellaring, although the 1981 might very well hold for some time. This is a distinctly ferrous, savory Monte Bello with a high level of Cabernet Sauvignon by historical standards. (AG)
Both sweet and savoury on its beguiling nose. Lots of lift and subtlety with a bone dry finish but great appetising fruit and drive. Surely one of the world's best red wines from this uncelebrated vintage? Bravo! 18.5/20 points. (JR)
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