Ridge’s Estate cabernet is usually a bit chunkier and broader than the Monte Bello blend, rarely as pure and elegant. If that’s the case in 2013, the Monte Bello is going to be a wine for the ages, because the Estate cabernet is stellar. It catches the savory nuances of fruit grown at cool altitude in aromas of cassis and cedar bark, holding that fruit in a matrix of fine limestone-grown tannins and vibrant acidity. That acidity drives a compressed, unstoppable arrow of flavor that’s tense and a bit backward, as a great young cabernet should be. Treat this like Monte Bello proper—don’t think about touching it until its tenth birthday.
Ridge's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is fabulous. Beams of tannin and acidity make a strong opening statement, but there is more than enough fruit to fill out the wine's frame. This is an especially dark, virile Estate. Then again, that is 2013. Inky blue/purplish fruit, licorice, sage, exotic spices and lavender grace the exquisite finish. This is an absolutely delicious mountain Cabernet endowed with real pedigree and class. It is also arguably the single greatest value in California Cabernet Sauvignon. (AG)
Wild plum and blackcurrant marry with subtle vanilla and spice in the bouquet of Ridge's Estate Cabernet, a selection from the parcels of their Monte Bello vineyard which don't tend to have the structure or concentration for the grand vin. On the palate, the wine is juicy and savoury, but quite open knit right now: it may well tighten up with more time in bottle. (WK)
The 2013 Estate bottling of cabernet bottling from Ridge is a blend of seventy-five percent cabernet sauvignon, twenty percent merlot, three percent petit verdot and two percent cabernet franc, with all of the grapes hailing from the Monte Bello vineyard. The grapes were fermented with native yeasts and raised in forty-eight percent new oak, with the balance a blend of one and two wine casks. The bouquet is excellent, wafting from the glass in a youthful blend of cassis, dark berries, cigars smoke, dark soil tones and lead pencil. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and rock solid at the core, with fine focus and grip, a fair bit of backend tannin and a long, well-balanced finish. This is still in the process of fully integrating its oak component, but will do so seamlessly over the next few years and is a really lovely bottle in the making. (Drink between 2023-2060)
Pure and refined, showing a sleek delivery of juicy blackberry, currant, toasty oak and dried herb flavors, with crushed rock minerality and a long, balanced finish that brings you back for another sip. (JL)
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello Vineyard Estate is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It tips the scales at 13.8% alcohol. (Newly retired winemaker Paul Draper said on the back label that it was the first time in nearly 50 years that harvest took place in September rather than October.) Deep briary blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, with some light to moderate tannin are present in this dark ruby/purple-hued wine. It is medium-bodied and shows good structure, freshness and purity, with the oak clearly pushed to the background. This excellent Cabernet Sauvignon should age nicely for 10-12+ years. (RP)
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