2012RidgeMonte2012 Ridge, Monte Bello, Proprietary Red, Santa Cruz Mountains.
One of the great wines of California, the Ridge Monte Bello delivers pure class and First Growth substance and this infantile 2012 will certainly be one of the vintages big prizes with hedonistic fruit, firm structure and gorgeous detail, this is one for the cellar, no question. The 2012 Monte is about 64% Cabernet Sauvignon with the rest being made up of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, I’m almost convinced they could have gone with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon in this vintage, but because the other grapes did so well they earned their spot in this great wine and they add unique flourish and the Merlot especially gives a plummy rich roundness to the bold palate, while the Franc and Verdot add spice, color and additional bouquet, the mix gives the Ridge Monte Bello a certain Chateau Margaux character in this vintage. At 13.8% alcohol, the 2012 is just above average to most recent versions, though very well integrated into this stylish Bordeaux blend that still retains acidity and structural poise with firm fine grained tannins and complex layers of fruit, earth, subtle wood, spice and mineral tones. The 2012 starts with red fruits, slight floral expressions, smoke, pencil lead and cassis leading to a mouth that unfolds with blackberry, dusty plum, currant and dark cherry fruits along with black olive, sweet tobacco, cedar and black licorice. The wood feels a perfect frame with subtle vanilla and toasty feel that doesn’t intrude on the moment and there is a background array in this dark garnet hued wine that leave faint traces of mocha, pepper, sage and acacia flower. This beautiful Monte Bello still has some baby fat to burn and it feels big and powerful, but nothing is out of place and the future looks stunning for this vintage, best to invest in it’s rewards and give it a decade in the cellar, drink from 2022 to 2035, this will be a great one to own, bravo Ridge for another amazing Monte!
($165 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

By admin