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Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2008 Ridge Monte Bello Proprietary Red Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains.
This amazing Cabernet Sauvignon based red is glorious and a profound wine of elegance and depth, with out question one of the best of the vintage and a classic Monte Bello. I very much enjoyed the subtle and delicate 2007 version, but this wine is really on another level and certainly belongs on the world’s best list. While many vintages of Monte Bello compare to first growths, this one might just go beyond them, even though it would help to describe it by saying it has elements that are similar to Haut-Brion and Chateau Margaux, though that said the 2008 Monte Bello has much more open richness and should be divine now, and through the next decade if not much longer indeed. The 2008 Monte Bello is alive with vigor and intensity starting with a nose that shows dark fruit and flowers with a touch of smoky wood and a bit of spice before a pure palate of blackberry, currant, plum and cassis layers with mineral, vanilla and tobacco notes. The mouthfeel is rich, but not coying or fat, and the length is amazing and the wine has sublime balance. I used to swear by the 1991 and 1994 Monte Bello’s, but I think the 2008 is now my all time favorite and I can’t wait to see how it develops.
($145 Est.) 97 Points, grapelive

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