2011RidgeMonteBello2011 Ridge, Monte Bello, Proprietary Red, Santa Cruz Mountains.
The Ridge Monte Bello is one of the great wines of the world, often besting the First Growths in my book, and often the wine to look for in an off year, proving that point especially well is the 2011 vintage, as Ridge has turned out an amazing wine. I taste lots of wine, I’ve had hundreds of 2011 Cabernet blends, and while there have been many outstanding wines and some great surprises, there has been some real troubled wines and it has to be said it was not a great year, some like to spin it and say it was a year for refined palates and such, I will be honest, it wasn’t all that pleasing to be kind. Then along came the 2011 Ridge Monte Bello, if you wanted to get a fabulous and complex world beating wine from this vintage, then this might be your top option in Cabernet Sauvignon, again in my opinion, and I have some experience with Monte Bello, this is amazing wine. The latest Monte Bello shows a beautiful dark garnet/purple hue with an almost blue/black core with floral tones lifting from the glass along with mineral/graphite, hints of camphor, blueberry and baking spices leading to a glorious palate arrayed with blackberry, mulberry, plum, deep black currant/cassis plus tobacco, cinnamon, pencil lead, cedar, black licorice, smoke, sage/briar and vanilla. This 12.8% medium to full weighted wine is utterly spellbinding, sublime and graceful, bravo to the whole Ridge team, this is a majestic Monte Bello that shines brightly, can’t wait to revisit this fantastic wine again in 5 to 10 years. Drink this beauty anytime you wish, but those that have patience will certainly be rewarded, it should drink well if not perfectly brilliant from 2016 to 2025. This 2011 Ridge Monte Bello, about 90% Cabernet Sauvignon with small parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc, will be a savvy choice and rivals the best from Bordeaux, it tastes like a blend of La Mission Haut-Brion and Chateau Margaux with a California heart and soul, both thumbs up, I might even re-rate higher as I only was able to taste from a 375ml-Half Bottle, absolutely super!
($145-169 Est.) 95+ Points, grapelive

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