Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 2008
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Each vintage is different, but year after year Monte Bello proves to be a consistently outstanding wine with great structure, complexity, and balance. And, in terms of ageability, it has been known to lay down for several decades with elegance and ease.
The 2008 Monte Bello is striking. It is a decidedly muscular Monte Bello endowed with layers of dark fruit. Tobacco, mint, asphalt and crushed rocks develop in the glass, adding tons of complexity and finesse. A long, saline finish rounds things out beautifully. In 2008 the cold growing season stretched into October and the wine definitely has the feel of a cool vintage. The spring frost and the second year of drought conditions lowered yields significantly. Yields were just 1.25 tons per acre on average, but some of the older vineyards came in at less than 1 ton per acre. The balance of fruit, tannin and structure is simply extraordinary, but the wine needs time, most likely lots of it. In 2008 the blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038.
Score: 97+, Antonio Galloni, August 2011
Very tight, dense, tense and firm, with aromas of road tar, dried currant and dried tobacco leaf offering plenty of enticement, picking up gamy earth and black licorice notes. Retains its trim, narrow band of flavors and focus. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2013 through 2024. 2,700 cases made.
Score: 92, James Laube, November 15, 2011
Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Merlot, this is a delicious wine for drinking now. It's rich and succulent in berries, cherries, currants, dark chocolate and cedar, and the tannins are soft and refined. Given Monte Bello's history of extreme ageworthiness, you might want to cellar it for an extended period of time.
Score: 90, Steve Heimoff, December 1, 2011
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