1992 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1075458 94-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 When I tasted this wine early in its life I felt it had outstanding potential. With another year of cellaring it has gained considerable weight. It now looks to be one of the greatest examples of Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon Ridge has produced. Only 40% of the crop made it into the final blend, which consists of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc. The wine offers a black/purple color, a profound nose of minerals, cassis, licorice, and spices, spectacular richness, and a great mid-palate that boasts layers of fruit. Admirable purity, fine underlying acidity, and considerable sweet, ripe tannin make this another compelling effort. Given the stunning 1990 Ridge Monte Bello and the exceptional promise of both the 1991 Monte Bello and the unbottled 1993 Monte Bello, Ridge has a quartet of stunning Cabernets that rival, and possibly eclipse what this winery achieved in 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1971. Assuming good cellar conditions, the 1992 Monte Bello should have 30-35 years of longevity. (RP)  (4/1994)

Jancis Robinson

 Lightish, sweet just a tad simpler than the 1991. A little fragile and only just ready. A bit bloody-tasting, as though there were quite a bit of merlot in the blend. Ah yes: 80% Cabernet, 11% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot. 18/20 points. Drink 2006 - 2030. (JR)  (3/2010)

Wine Spectator

 Succeeds in a subtle, supple style; the earthy currant, anise and mushroomy flavors are well-structured, with firm tannins and cedary oak. Still tight and youtful, with room to grow. (JL)  (5/2003)

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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.