2019 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains, USA (750ml)
Complex aromas of blackberry, tobacco, roasted coffee bean and wintergreen. On the palate, concentrated plum layered with well-coated tannins, firm acidity, oak spice and notes of licorice on the long finish. Blend: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
The 2019 Monte Bello is a wild, exotic wine. Huge, soaring aromatics meld into a core of heady, exotically ripe fruit. Not a shy wine by any means, the 2019 is atypically opulent, and yet all of the classic Monte Bello structure is there, underneath all of that fruit. The 2019 needs time in bottle to shed its baby fat, but there is a lot to look forward to. I imagine it will always be a pretty exuberant wine. Inky red fruit, blood orange, espresso, sweet American oak, cedar and pipe tobacco leave a lasting impression. In a word: magnificent!
-Vinous, 98 pts.
Rich and smoky on the nose, this famed estate Cabernet Sauvignon is enhanced with 9% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc,. Aromas of roasted plum, mesquite, sandalwood and frankincense show on the nose. Impressively polished tannins consume the palate, where roasted berry, black plum and toasted coffee flavors linger long. Drink now–2039.
- Wine Enthusiast, 96 pts.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello is a more Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, all hitting 13.7% alcohol. As usual, it was aged in new American oak. It shows the higher Cabernet component and is deep purple-hued and tight and closed, with a primordial vibe to its dark blue and black fruit, smoked tobacco, vanilla bean, graphite, and cedarwood aromatics. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has terrific overall balance, building, ripe tannins, a good sense of freshness, and outstanding length. It reminds me slightly of the 2018 with its more elegant, streamlined profile, but I expect this to build with bottle age, and it should have 2-3 decades of overall longevity.
- Jeb Dunnuck, 95 pts.
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