Robert Parker 97
“The 2005 Monte Bello is beginning to drink very well indeed, revealing complex aromas of sweet currant fruit, rich soil, cedar cigar box and sweet spices. With time in the glass, nuances of dark chocolate and loamy soil emerge too. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with fine-grained structuring tannins, the first signs of emerging savory nuance and a bright, beautifully focused finish. As it approaches age 13, the 2005 is still very youthful-indeed, this particular bottle was more reserved and taut than the last four or five that I’ve encountered-so there’s certainly no rush to drink it. Cropped at just under one ton per acre, the 2005 is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc that attained 13.4% natural alcohol.”
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038
Ridge’s 2005 Monte Bello is beginning to show the first signs of aromatic development, although it has more than enough depth and density to drink well for another twenty years. Tobacco, cedar, leather, spice and menthol add considerable nuance. The tannins are nicely resolved, which makes the 2005 an excellent choice for current drinking. The 2005 is not a blockbuster, but it is super-polished and refined, with an almost exotic sense of ripeness from the warm, dry summer and low yields of that year.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2036
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Hints of sandalwood and light eucalyptus, deep dark black fruits and tobacco leaf move from the nose through the palate. The tobacco spice becomes more apparent in the mouth, moving into notes of black tea and leather. There is still quite firm, ample tannin here and it would do well with still more cellar time as it gains complexity with air. Allow time to evolve in bottle ” intriguing complexity. (ECB)
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2048