A Monte Bello for the ages, the 2013's brooding bouquet unfolds to reveal notes of black raspberry, juicy blackcurrant, burning embers and deep-pitched, rich soil tones. On the palate the wine is simply stunning, with a beautifully three-dimensional, refined tannic chassis. Analytically, this is the most tannic Monte Bello of the millenium, but that structure is clothed with a wealth of fruit—so much so that Ridge forwent their habitual egg white fining this year. Watch this profound wine begin to blossom after a decade in the cellar. (WK)
Amazing aromas of flowers, blackberry, black currant and spices. Purple fruits. Full body, very dense and rich. Yet it has the Monte Bello agile energy and verve. Tannic and so fresh. The Monte Bello magic is here. Great to taste but it needs five or six years to come together. Be patient. Try in 2023. An ageless wine for forever.
The 2013 Monte Bello is a very special vintage for this great wine. Amazingly, it has yet to shut down, unfurling in the glass to reveal a bouquet of black raspberries, cassis, rich espresso roast, cigar wrapper, subtle black truffle and burning embers that has already integrated its 100% new oak remarkably completely. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, powerful and multidimensional, with a lavishly textural attack that segues into a stunningly layered, richly structured mid-palate endowed with incredible depth and concentration underpinned by succulent acids. The finish is long, vibrant and beautifully delineated. The 2013 is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot, and it attained 13.6% natural alcohol. Analytically, this ranks as one of the most tannic vintages of Monte Bello ever produced, but the tannins are of such high quality and cloaked in such a wealth of fruit that Ridge forwent their habitual egg white fining this year—beginning a trend that has continued since. This profound Monte Bello will begin to blossom as it reaches age ten and should prove practically immortal. (WK)
The 2013 Monte Bello is utterly spellbinding in its beauty. Finely sculpted and chiseled, with super-expressive aromatics and searing tannins, the 2013 is shaping up to be a modern-day classic. The 2013 is remarkably pure and vibrant for such a big wine. It will be years before the 2013 is close to being ready to drink. Even so, it is magnificent today. Where will the 2013 end up? The future seems limitless for now. Quite simply, the 2013 is a must-have wine. In 2013, Monte Bello is very heavy in Cabernet Sauvignon, partly because Merlot suffered in the drought-like conditions. The 2013 has already begun to shut down in bottle. Readers need to be in for the long haul. (AG) 98+
This is slowly starting to unwind. The plush tannins pull a well of blackberry and plum fruit along, while smoldering toast and a latent mineral edge linger through the superlong finish. A rival to the 2016. (JM, Web Only-2019)
Monte Bello’s aging regimen—16 months in new American oak—is apparent in the 2013’s pungent aroma of dill. At first, the fruit feels muted by the oak, but there’s a fineness to the tannins that gives the impression of a very serious cabernet terroir (in this case, a cool mountain ridge rising to 2,600 feet, where a wealth of mature vines dating to the 1970s and 1980s are rooted in limestone-rich substrata). With air, the fruit picks up vigor, that dill character merging with flavors of maitake mushroom and pine. Like most vintages of Monte Bello, its mountain-grown fruit is more about umami than red or purple berry flavors. And if some vintages of Monte Bello can feel almost racy, this one is supple and gentle, yet not at all heavy—an aristocratic cabernet that is standoffish right now, girded by new wood. This will reward the patient; keep it for ten years or more before uncorking it at a holiday celebration with roast beef.
Very Cabernet nose, again with spice – great polish and depth. Firm acidity and much more obvious tannins than the 2014. (JR) 18/20
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