7/2002. Bought locally (i.e at relatively expensive price), Apr-01 for $140.
To honor America's 4th of July we decided to open one of California's best [at least to my taste]. Ridge flagship wine - Monte Bello. A Bordeaux-style melange of Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
A few years ago I have tremendously enjoyed the 1991 rendition, and although still extremely young, I had high hopes of enjoying this 1996.
COLOR: Very dark, almost opaque, red. No signs of clearing around the rim. Noticeable sediment in the bottle.
NOSE: Incredible nose bursting out with a wide spectrum of aromas and bouquet. Semi-ripe sweetish prunes, black forest-fruit, raw meat, a touch of tobacco and well balanced oak notes. Deep, rich and extremely enticing.
TASTE: Again, a celebration of flavors on the palate. Complex fruit interwoven with rich-textured meaty winyness. Multi-dimensional as it is multi-layered. Vigorous yet pure and silky with amazing finesse. Still very young of course with the round tannins not yet completely integrated. This wine - even at its present age - is so delicious it is indeed a rare treat.
LENGTH: Medium-long finish with sweetish-dryish aftertaste.
TEXTURE & BALANCE: Full bodied wine of fine texture and perfect balance. Fruit laden but that is far from describing it. Complex focused and stylish, its elements are still singing separately. A few more years will let all the ingredients harmonize. Once they do we will have a truly great wine here.
OVERALL: Outstanding! Simply wonderful now, but will no doubt become even better in 4-8 years.
|MARK: 19/20.||BUY MORE? Yes.|
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Jacob "Yak" Shaya.