2009 Ridge "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)

SKU #1110565 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Monte Bello, 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot is simply magnificent. Layers of dark red fruit, flowers, spices and graphite are all woven together in this utterly impeccable wine. The 2009 is an especially huge, intense Monte Bello, yet a sexy, silky core of fruit lies within its imposing frame. Everything comes together in this glorious, radiant wine. Last year the 2009 had some pretty stiff competition from the 2010, but today it is simply firing on all cylinders. Eric Baugher describes 2009 as a year with cold weather early on, followed by heat in early June and July. The fruit was brought in on October 12, just before an intense downpour swept through the region. There is a purity and silkiness supported by structure in the 2009 that is impossible not to admire. Simply put, this is another utterly magnificent, towering masterpiece from Ridge. (AG)  (8/2012)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot): Opaque ruby. Assertive redcurrant, cherry and pipe tobacco aromas, with suave floral and mineral notes gaining strength with air. Fresh and precise, offering deeply concentrated red berry and bitter cherry flavors, a supple texture and slow-building sweetness. Becomes more exotically floral with air, finishing sappy and long, with excellent clarity and gentle tannic grip. An extremely promising young Monte Bello that smoothly melds power and vivacity. (JR)  (11/2012)

95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Three Stars* Ridge has quietly been making world-class Cabernets for some forty years and, from the beginning, they have been balanced wines that have emphasized beauty over brawn. This latest is a deep and wonderfully refined working that teams a wealth of precise varietal fruit with suggestions of fresh loam, briar, black tea and a very complementary measure of mildly vanillin oak. Make no mistake, this is by no means a "light" wine, and despite being so well-crafted as to be almost seamless, it needs several years of age before even starting to hit its stride, and it is guaranteed to continue to grow for a generation.  (12/2012)

95 points Wine Spectator

 *Top 100 Wines of 2012, Collectibles* Taut and structured, with cedar-laced currant, dark berry and dried berry notes joining a mix of mineral-laced fresh earth and tobacco flavors, offering a wide range of tight-knit fruit overall. Firmly tannic on the finish, yet the ripe purity pushes through. True-to-form Monte Bello in a classic style.  (11/2012)

93 points Wine & Spirits

 A relatively dry growing season and a cool fall produced this Monte Bello’s austere power and grace. It’s a substantial wine based on bright, mountain-grown fruit, lush strawberry and red currant flavors that track the energy of the tannins. There’s a savory earth tone underneath, complexity built into the tannins that will develop over the next decade. For now, the new oak is prominent; give this time to realize its full beauty.  (12/2012)

Jancis Robinson

 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. This wine and Silver Oak are the only ones in this line up that use US oak. Here it has been air dried for 2-3 years and most of the barrels are 200 litres. Vines at 1500 ft at least. Greenstone mixed with clay over fractured limestone. Cabernet planted at different times, from 1949 to 1993. Inky black. Dark and coaly on the nose. Mouthwatering, dark, savoury, tarry cassis but there's also a pine/cedary and garrigue note from the site. Smoky, complex and concentrated. Even though it is so dark and intense, it is juicy on the finish. Some spice but not overly oaky even now. Incredibly firmly structured but no hardness and still has a freshness. Finishes with great fruit purity. Going back, lovely, lively peppery note. Hint of mocha on the very end. (18+/20 points)  (12/2013)

K&L Notes

San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines of 2012: "Quite simply, one of the best California Cabernet-based wines I've ever had, although with 22 percent Merlot and 6 percent Petit Verdot, it's a true blend. A cool early season got Monte Bello off to a modest start, but this wine is perfectly integrated already, yet is primed to improve over a quarter-century. A handsome wood aspect frames plum skin, black peppercorn and dried branches. A complex savory weave matches the dusky fruit, and as it opens, it gets more sappy to the taste and more rewarding."

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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.