2010 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon (375ml)
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.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Ridge's flagship offering, the 2010 Monte Bello, composed of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc (13.2% alcohol), was harvested in October and yields were under two tons of fruit per acre. Boasting a deeper ruby/purple color than the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, it exhibits attractive aromas of creme de cassis, dark berries, earth and spice. Firm, rich, structured and broodingly backward, it needs at least 7-8 years of bottle age, and should keep for three decades. Certainly outstanding, although not one of Ridge's greatest Monte Bellos, time will favor its further development. (91+)
This year's version of what has become one of California's iconic Cabernets is introduced in the nose by a fine combination of juicy young fruit, black olives and undisguised oaky sweetness, and its mannerly, multi-layered flavors follow suit. It is surprisingly supple for a wine of its age, and its gentle tannins firm without being intrusive, but a distracting, vaguely toothpicky pucker emerges at the end and warns against hasty drinking. Allow for at least five years of patience, and, given its pedigree, we would not be surprised if it continues to improve for a decade or more.
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.
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."