2006 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
...a very strong effort. Its dense purple color is followed by copious aromas of creme de cassis, licorice, spice box, and a touch of oak. Well-balanced, dense, pure, layered, and rich, its big, rich style is similar to the 2003. This cuvee should keep for 25-30 years in a cool cellar.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep, bright ruby. Spicy, high-pitched aromas of red- and blackcurrant, cherry, pipe tobacco, rose and smoky Indian spices. Firm, mineral-driven dark berry flavors are given a firm edge by bitter cherry skin and pit notes, with the tobacco note repeating. Supple tannins add structure and carry through the long, sweet, smoky finish. This is showing gentler tannins than I usually expect from a young Monte Bello and I'd bet on it being drinkable before the 2005 and 2004 versions.
Wine & Spirits
On the quiet side of intense, this vintage of Monte Bello is austere, delivering its fruit like a cool rain of berries. As a young cabernet, the flavors of black plum, dried currants and cranberries are held tight in the grip of oak. There's also a floral scent of roses before the tannins shut it down. This should plump up with a few years in the cellar, building on its elegance to match roast leg of lamb.
Rich and glossy on the nose -- all pleasure! There’s a sweet initial hit on the palate and then it all goes very dense and still dry. Very, very youthful. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. 17.5+/20 points.
The Monte Bello vineyard was first planted back in 1886, but was essentially abandoned after Prohibition. It was replanted in 1949, and has been the source of one of Ridge's best known wines since it was first made in 1962. Cabernet, Cab Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot are all planted at this ridgetop vineyard overlooking the San Francisco peninsula. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.