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Bottle Size: 750 ml
Rating: W&S 96
The cool 2011 season turned out a pristine vintage of Monte Bello, made from Cabernet (88%) grown on a limestone-inflected ridge high above Silicon Valley, blended with some Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The team at Ridge let the fruit recover for two weeks following an early October storm before picking, and were more aggressive in their extraction than normal, drawing as much color and structure as possible from the delicate fruit. The aromas revolve around oak at first—anise, wood smoke, cedar bark and cinnamon—but the wood’s contribution is fine and integrated, shading gradually toward bright fruit as the finish lengthens with floral aromas and the tang of tiny, concentrated black currants. It’s even better with a day of air, as the tannins turn to velvet, allowing red-fruited acidity to take the lead and brighten the wine’s savory, pungent sous bois tones of wet wood and forest mushrooms. Supremely elegant and polished, it’s a wine to put away and forget about for the next ten years or so.
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