Ridge Monte Bello 2007
Blend: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
The nose just bursts with blueberries, currants, and flowers. Full bodied, with a round and velvety tannin structure. The palate explodes with currants, ripe strawberries, and black pepper on the finish. This is muscular and toned, structured and balanced. This is still young and needs a minimum of five years of bottle age. Winemaker Paul Draper says that perhaps this is as great as the legendary 1991.
Relatively fat for a Monte Bello, this wine show its richness in fruit rather than playing on weight gained from oak. The freshness of the fruit keeps it firm, finely balanced and clean, a more accessible young wine than this vineyard tends to give. There's a pure cassis flavor running through it, emphasizing the clairty of lovely, ripe cabernet. As approachable as it may be now, it's substantial enought to age for a decade or more.
Bright ruby-red. Pungent, fresh scents of currant, mocha, tobacco leaf, graphite minerality and brown spices, plus a whiff of leather. A penetrating, youthfully tight midweight with a lovely claret-like balance of currant fruit, minerals and herbal, tobacco-leafy elements. Smooth in texture but enlivened by elevated, almost peppery acidity. Finishes with an element of energy and finesse I don't find in many high-octane Napa Valley examples from this vintage, but then this is a less massive style of Cabernet. The persistent finishing flavors blow past the firm tannins but there's little in the way of easy sweetness today. In fact, I suspect this wine is passing through a sullen stage.
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