Absolutely spectacular, the 1991 Monte Bello comes from a low tannin year where the estate was wondering how well the wine would age. I'm happy to report it has aged brilliantly! Fully mature, yet still youthful and lively, it offers tons of cassis, underbrush, spice and dried herbs to go with a full-bodied, utterly seamless, sexy feel on the palate that just keeps you coming back to the glass. Given the balance, it will hold nicely going forward, but there's no upside to further cellaring. (JD)
Full, youthful red-ruby color. Knockout nose of cassis, maple syrup, game, truffle and spicy oak; sappy and highly complex. Powerful, primary dark berry flavors exude a sweet gamey quality. Dense but sharply delineated. Great flavor intensity without the slightest suggestion of heaviness. Still a baby but already amazingly harmonious wine. Extremely long finish features very fine, suave tannins. A world-class cabernet, certainly among the top dozen made in California during the last 20 years. (ST)
The 1991 Monte Bello is utterly captivating. Sweet tobacco, cedar, mint, dried flowers and herbs are some of the many notes the open up in the wine's striking bouquet. Aromatic, mid-weight and gracious, the 1991 is wonderfully complex, with more than enough balance to drink well for another two decades. The aromatics in particular are super-expressive, open-knit and incredibly finessed, all qualities Paul Draper says the wine showed right out of the fermentation tanks. What a gorgeous wine this is. (AG)
Mind-blowing. So amazing with delicate spices of cardigan, currants, sweet tobacco. Full body, with very velvety tannins. Ripe and complex fruit character. Velvety tannins. So long, but then goes to dried flowers. 1982 Latour style to this. A triumph for California.
Rich, with currant, mineral, spice, sage, leather and black cherry. Supple in texture, graceful in style and long, persistent and focused on the finish. Tannins are fine-grained. Magnificent Monte Bello that defines the complexity, weight, style, flavor and nuance of this vineyard in its best years. (JL, Web Only-2002)
Sumptously complex, smooth, sweet and herbal with definite balsam notes. Still evolving upwards. 19/20 points.
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