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Professional Ratings: 93 Wine & Spirits, 92 Vinous / Antonio Galloni
Region: Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Alcohol By Volume: 13%
Item no. 123392
Dark ruby to purple color. Notes of blackberries, cassis, violets, and licorice. There is dark berry fruit on the entry, along with crushed rock minerals. There are chalky tannins in this full-bodied wine, along with lively acid, cocoa, exotic oak spice, and chaparral.
This alternate selection from Ridge's famed Monte Bello Vineyard proved controversial on our panel. Several tasters found it astringent and wondered if it would ever be approachable. Somewhat oblivious to their concerns, I described the wine as pretty, finding it classical in structure, claret-like in weight and plump with enough fruit to fill that structure. There's black spice and minerality to the tannins that should sustain the juicy freshness as it ages.
Readers who can't (or don't want to!) wait for Ridge's Montebellos to hit their stride should consider the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. A gorgeous wine, the 2010 is laced with dark plum, black cherry, jasmine and crushed rocks aromas. Firm yet beautifully integrated tannins support the saline, crystalline finish.