Unique aromas of blackberry, black currant, dark chocolate and walnut. Full body, very powerful and tannic. Incredible depth and power. Precise and so focused. Muscular. Great structure. This needs at least six to eight years to come together. *Top 100 of 2017*
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello checks in as 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc. A much deeper, richer wine compared to the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, it offers incredible notes of crème de cassis, vanilla bean, tobacco leaf, and scorched earth. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, with moderate acidity and ripe yet present tannin, it's going to drink nicely with just short-term cellaring yet shine for two decades or more. It doesn't have the overt concentration and structure of the 2012 and 2013, but has sensational purity, balance, and elegance.
A worthy successor to the profound 2013 and the fruit of the earliest harvest on record at this address, the 2014 Monte Bello is still quite youthfully expressive, wafting from the glass with an exuberant bouquet of minty dark berries, plums, black cherries, cigar box and a nicely integrated framing of new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep and intense, with a rich chassis of structuring tannins, which are currently largely concealed in a succulent core of fruit, and bright balancing acids. In profile, it's structurally more open-knit and giving than the massive 2013, and I suspect it will reach its plateau sooner, but it should enjoy over three decades of longevity. The blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, and it attained 13.5% natural alcohol. 'The drought had a positive effect on concentration,' observed winemaker Eric Baugher when we corresponded shortly after harvest, adding that 'the wines are opaque in color, with rich tannins and marvellous fruit.' Four years later, that remains an accurate characterization of the 2014 Monte Bello. (WK)
Refined and complex, this wine has an expressive aromatic profile of cherry, blackcurrant, hints of mint, coconut and cedar wood oak. The palate is very elegant, expressing fine tannins, succulent acidity and long length. The first vintage of this wine was released in 1962, its made from a single vineyard planted in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 730m above sea level and just 15 miles from the Pacific ocean. (RS)
The 2014 Monte Bello is going to need at least a decade to show everything it has. Deceptively medium in body and super-classic in its mid-weight structure, the 2014 offers notable brightness and intensity in an understated style, even by Ridge standards. Today, the 2014 is intensely linear, focused and vibrant. Petit Verdot is the variety that suffered most in the drought, so its presence in the blend is minimal. (AG)
This shows the very expressive aromatic profile of the 2014 vintage, with a range of sage, mint and spice notes leading off, followed by a dense core of black and red currant fruit and a long, smoldering finish. Approachable for its aromatic range, but there's absolutely no rush here. (JM, Web-2019)
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