The 2012 Monte Bello is one of the most harmonious young Monte Bellos I can remember tasting. Seamless and voluptuous through to the finish, the 2012 is showing beautifully today. Raspberry jam, pomegranate, white flowers, mint and spices are some of the many notes that flesh out in the glass. A wine with a distinctly red-hued profile, silky tannins, no hard edges and exceptional overall balance, the 2012 Monte Bello is simply magnificent. The 2012 is racy but also impeccably balanced throughout, with shades of the 2001 that come through from time to time. I won't be surprised if the 2013 and 2014 both eventually surpass it, but there is no denying that the 2012 is simply stunning today. This is one of the best showings yet for the 2012. (AG)
Lead pencil, blackberry and blackcurrant aromas fill the glass. Hints of mints and dried flowers. Full body, soft and round tannins and a sweet-and-sour fruit intensity. Juicy and round-textured wine, culminating in a flavorful finish. Drink in 2020 but already a joy to taste.
The 2012 Monte Bello is a beauty, wafting from the glass with complex aromas of plums, blackberries, bitter chocolate, black truffles, cigar tobacco and hints of crème de cassis. Its new oak is already well integrated. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, richly tannic and very deep, with a layered, concentrated core of fruit framed by chalky, fine-grained tannins. The 2012 is still quite youthfully chewy at this early stage, but there's a certain lavishness to its ripe blackberry fruit that suggests this will be a dramatic, even decadent Monte Bello in the style of the 2002 when it reaches maturity. Late September heat made for a record-setting harvest in only 16 days. The 2012 is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, and it saw a small water addition to finish at 13.8% alcohol. Drink through 2060. (WK)
Sappy blackberry, wild plum and creamy cassis meld with a nicely-integrated framing of American oak, with vanilla and menthol notes, in the 2012's youthful bouquet. Juicy, refined and complete on the palate, with fine tannins and bright acidity, this wine just needs a decade in the cellar to start to shine. (WK)
A beautifully structured wine, with firm acidity and tannins that show grip and grit amid a core of dense, tense currant and blackberry fruit, turning juicy. Those seeking classic old-school Cabernet will embrace this. Cellaring for five to seven years is the right approach. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. *#7 Top 100 Wines of 2016, Collectibles* (JL)
This vintage of Monte Bello includes a fairly high proportion of Merlot—22 percent—which, along with the warmth of the 2012 vintage, gives the wine an unusually lush, open, velvety texture in its youth. Still, it’s not a wine to drink now. A layer of stony tannins tugs at the fruit, pulling mouthwatering blackberry and cedar flavors back into the wine’s structure and holding them at a distance. Bright mountain-grown acidity will support the 2012 well as it ages. This should hit its stride in another eight or ten years.
Very deep purple. Burly and briary with great savour and beautifully managed tannins. Clearly very ripe fruit but great freshness. They say this has more tannin than first growths. Already a pleasure! Must be made with extraordinary skill. Heady, balsam notes. Really sophisticated with no sweetness nor alcohol. Great cleanliness on the end. 18.5/20
2014 Beauregard "Beauregard Ranch" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $75)
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