The 2001 Monte Bello is a very atypical vintage for Ridge, attaining a record high alcohol of 14.1% and containing an unprecedented 36% Merlot. Baugher remembers that the grapes retained green, unripe flavors while sugars soared, so he was forced to wait to pick. It's hard not to be seduced by the resulting wine, which wafts from the glass with lavish aromas of ripe plums, black truffles, dark chocolate, cigar ash and loamy soil. It's full-bodied, ample and dramatic, with a broad, expansive attack and a voluptuously layered mid-palate, its sweet fruit complemented by plenty of savory nuance. At this stage, I prefer the 2002, which is almost as generous but better balanced and more Cabernet Sauvignon-driven in personality, but I suspect many tasters will favor the more opulent, sun-kissed 2001. (WK)
The 2001 Monte Bello is a total turn-on. Racy and hedonistic, especially by Ridge standards, the 2001 makes a strong opening statement with its super-ripe fruit and explosive aromatics. Beams of supporting tannin lie in the background and serve to give the wine its overall shape. Hints of leather, mint and sweet tobacco add perfume throughout. Over the last few years, the 2001 has begun to develop quite a bit of more tertiary notes. It remains one of the most flamboyant (and ripest) Monte Bello ever made. (AG)
Without doubt this is a wine to cellar. It’s massive in flavor, with the purist blackcurrant and cassis fruit you can imagine, and the huge plaster of sweet oak is perfectly balanced. Then there are the tannins. They’re fine and complex, but gritty. *Cellar Selection*
No tasting note given.
Gorgeous. Dense, rich and concentrated, with a tight core of blackberry and wild berry with floral and berry jam touches. Tight yet expressive, softening ever so slightly and ending with a persistent push of mineral and berry. (JL, Web Only-2011)
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