2010 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)

SKU #1138649 97 points Antonio Galloni

 97+ points. Firm yet polished tannins provide the backbone for the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello. As impressive as it has always been, the 2010 is a structured, powerful wine that is likely to require considerable bottle age to show the full breadth of its pedigree. Black cherry, plum, cassis and graphite notes meld into the intense, mineral-infused finish. Dramatic and towering in style. The late harvest stretched into early November, resulting in a Monte Bello with a decidedly dark profile. The blend is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Personally, I can't wait to own the 2010.  (7/ 2013)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The just-bottled 2010 Monte Bello combines pure structure and power in a rich, full-bodied style for this wine. Waves of dark red fruit, crushed rocks, flowers, mint and grilled herbs wrap around the long, insistent finish. Today, the 2010 is slightly more reticent than it was last year, but the wine comes to life the more it sits in the glass. Always classy, the 2010 Monte Bello impresses for its impeccable balance. Count me among those who will be thrilled to own this magnificent California classic. The 2010 is a decidedly virile, powerful Monte Bello, qualities winemaker Eric Baugher attributes to a year with a very cold summer and periods of heat that arrived only towards the tail end of the growing season. In 2010, the blend is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040. This is a sublime set of new releases from one of this country’s greatest heritage wineries. (96+)  (8/ 2012)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 One of the lowest-alcohol prestige Cabs on the market, Ridge’s 2010 bottling is dry, softly tannic and light in body for a Cabernet Sauvignon. Yet it’s complex in flavor, offering tiers of blackberries, cherries, currants, herbs and spices. Wants some time, but not a lot. Drink 2015–2018.  (8/ 2013)

K&L Notes

The 2010 vintage was notably cool, making this legendary cool-climate Cab-dominated blend--it also includes 20% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cab Franc--incredibly sophisticated, low in alcohol and promising of a very long future. In his 2011 review, Antonio Galloni wrote: 'The 2010 Monte Bello is the product of a freakish year that included the coolest summer in 50 years followed by a heat wave in late August and summer-like weather in October. The 2010 is a massive, explosive Monte Bello endowed with layers of vibrant fruit, exquisite grace and fabulous balance. It is a big, textured wine just in its early stages, but I will not be surprised if one day it surpasses both the 2008 and 2009. I especially like the way the wine floats across the palate with exceptional elegance and breathtaking finesse. Wow! In 2010 the blend is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040.'

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Price: $299.99

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5