2001 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1011204 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A resoundingly great effort from this iconic producer, Ridge's 2001 is a spectacular, still young but promising wine... A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by extravagant, generous aromas of pen ink, lead pencil shavings, spice box and black fruits. The wine is full-bodied and silky textured, but secondary nuances have not yet begun to develop as it is still very primary, tasting more like a 3-4 year old Monte Bello than one that is ten years of age. Nevertheless, it reveals spectacular concentration, a voluptuous texture, a rare opulence for a Ridge Monte Bello, and an incredible finish. The upside is enormous and this cuvee may prove somewhat atypical due to the huge percentage of Merlot in the final blend and the higher than normal alcohol. (RP)  (6/2011)

98 points Antonio Galloni

 What a pleasure it is to taste the 2001 Monte Bello. A wine that is just beginning to enter the early part of its plateau of maturity, the 2001 is magnificently complete. The flavors remain quite fresh, but there is plenty of aromatic complexity in the glass. Sweet dark cherry, plum, spice and licorice meld into the super-expressive finish. At nearly fourteen years of age, the 2001 is still remarkably young and intense. Readers who own the 2001 are in for a real treat, to say the least. Incidentally, this is the only vintage of Monte Bello to top 14% in alcohol. Opulence and classicism can indeed coexist, as the 2001 makes it abundantly clear. (AG)  (7/2015)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* Without doubt this is a wine to cellar. It’s massive in flavor, with the purist blackcurrant and cassis fruit you can imagine, and the huge plaster of sweet oak is perfectly balanced. Then there are the tannins. They’re fine and complex, but gritty. There’s an astringency throughout that a great steak will cut through, but it would be infanticide to open this before, say, 2010. Should improve through 2020 and beyond.  (4/2005)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Gorgeous. Dense, rich and concentrated, with a tight core of blackberry and wild berry with floral and berry jam touches. Tight yet expressive, softening ever so slightly and ending with a persistent push of mineral and berry. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.—2001 California Cabernet blind retrospective (June 2011). Drink now through 2022. (Web Only—2011)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium ruby. Highly complex aromas of currant, lead pencil, tobacco and chocolate. Rich, lush and deep, with full-blown, superripe flavors of cassis, black raspberry and chocolate. This has considerably more merlot than the 2002 (36%), and it shows it in its extravagantly creamy texture. Finishes with sweet tannins and outstanding length. I don't recall ever having tasted a Monte Bello as close to overripe as this one. But a compelling wine that's utterly voluptuous drinking already. (ST)  (8/2004)

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By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/12/2013 | Send Email
I brought a bottle of this to Quattro restaurant in the Four Seasons for their "Friday Nights Uncorked" promotion, when they invite you to bring your own wine. My oldest friend and I enjoyed the wine with Quattro's 16oz bone-in Piedmont rib-eye, and went for the black truffles on top for good measure. This is the biggest, ripest, most opulent Monte Bello I have tasted, and since Cinnamon worked up there for years I have been fortunate enough to taste a lot. At 12 years old it is still young, but certainly into its drinking window. I can't recommend it highly enough for a steak night!

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.