Bid on this 2-bottle lot of 2009 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon (96ST, 96VN, 96WS, 95CG, (93-95JG), 95WE, 93W&S). Vinous: "The 2009 Monte Bello feels very ripe and lush in its first impression, but the tannins have not softened all that much yet. Game, smoke, licorice and leather gradually open up with a bit of aeration. The 2009 is endowed with tremendous depth of fruit, but the equally imposing tannins need time to soften. All of this fruit was picked before the mid-October rains. (AG) 96+" (10/2019)
This lot contains the following items:
2009 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon (qty: 2)
Opaque ruby. Assertive redcurrant, cherry and pipe tobacco aromas, with suave floral and mineral notes gaining strength with air. Fresh and precise, offering deeply concentrated red berry and bitter cherry flavors, a supple texture and slow-building sweetness. Becomes more exotically floral with air, finishing sappy and long, with excellent clarity and gentle tannic grip. An extremely promising young Monte Bello that smoothly melds power and vivacity. (JR)
The 2009 Monte Bello feels very ripe and lush in its first impression, but the tannins have not softened all that much yet. Game, smoke, licorice and leather gradually open up with a bit of aeration. The 2009 is endowed with tremendous depth of fruit, but the equally imposing tannins need time to soften. All of this fruit was picked before the mid-October rains. (AG) 96+
A rare fruit bomb Monte Bello, with the structure taking a back seat to waves of gorgeous red currant, blackberry and plum sauce flavors. Features flashes of spice, tea and cedar, showing a lightly mulled edge through the finish that opens nicely in the glass. Very seductive. (JM, Web-2019)
Ridge has quietly been making world-class Cabernets for some 40 years and, from the beginning, they have been balanced wines that have emphasized beauty over brawn. This latest is a deep and wonderfully refined working that teams a wealth of precise varietal fruit with suggestions of fresh loam, briar, black tea and a very complementary measure of mildly vanillin oak. Make no mistake, this is by no means a "light" wine, and despite being so well-crafted as to be almost seamless, it needs several years of age before even starting to hit its stride, and it is guaranteed to continue to grow for a generation.
This Cabernet-Merlot blend is packed with blackberry and crème de cassis, with a firm minerality. With the weight of the middle palate and the long, spicy finish, it’s especially attractive, although it's also quite tannic. The only difference between this Estate Monte Bello Cabernet and Ridge's Monte Bello Estate Cabernet ($150; note the difference in the placement of "estate") is that the winemaker selected lots from the vineyard that were considered more accessible, which in this case means more luscious. Despite its many charms, the wine should age for a long time. *Top 100 Wines of 2012, Cellar Selection*
The 2009 Monte Bello is still in cask and was showing very, very good potential at the time of my visit to the winery in mid-January of 2011. The nose on the 2009 is deep and very, very promising, as it offers up scents of cassis, blackberries, espresso, tobacco leaf a great base of soil and a touch of new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and very velvety on the attack, with great precision and focus, ripe, substantial tannins and excellent length and grip on the finish. This is likely to be a very suavely-styled vintage of this iconic Cabernet.
A relatively dry growing season and a cool fall produced this Monte Bello’s austere power and grace. It’s a substantial wine based on bright, mountain-grown fruit, lush strawberry and red currant flavors that track the energy of the tannins. There’s a savory earth tone underneath, complexity built into the tannins that will develop over the next decade. For now, the new oak is prominent; give this time to realize its full beauty.
This wine and Silver Oak are the only ones in this line up that use US oak. Here it has been air dried for 2-3 years and most of the barrels are 200 litres. Vines at 1500 ft at least. Greenstone mixed with clay over fractured limestone. Cabernet planted at different times, from 1949 to 1993. Inky black. Dark and coaly on the nose. Mouthwatering, dark, savoury, tarry cassis but there's also a pine/cedary and garrigue note from the site. Smoky, complex and concentrated. Even though it is so dark and intense, it is juicy on the finish. Some spice but not overly oaky even now. Incredibly firmly structured but no hardness and still has a freshness. Finishes with great fruit purity. Going back, lovely, lively peppery note. Hint of mocha on the very end. (JH) 18+/20