2004 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Ruby-red. Smoky cherry and cassis aromas are complicated by wilted rose, cured meat, licorice and sexy oak spices. Lush and creamy in texture, offering well-delineated red- and blackcurrant flavors, good dusty tannic grip, and a sweet, expansive finish. Impressively deep and chewy, but good mineral lift keeps everything in check.
Readers looking for a Monte Bello that is ready to drink should consider the 2004. Just beginning to enter its early plateau of maturity, the 2004 is in a beautiful spot right now. Sweet tobacco, smoke, cedar, licorice and leather meld into a core of dark fruit. The 2004 won't last forever, but it does have enough depth to age beautifully for the another decade, perhaps more. A distinctly floral/savory finish rounds things out nicely.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A lighter, more elegant example of Monte Bello, the finesse-styled 2004 does not possess the power one normally sees in this wine. It offers pure fruit, a pretty, St.-Julien-like style, notes of cedar, spice box, herbs, background oak, and red as well as black currants, and silky tannin. It is capable of lasting 15-20 years. (RP)
Particularly dark and dense - strongly marked by Cabernet aromas yet very graceful tannins as well as being so ambitious. Very virile. 19/20 points
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc.