2012 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2012 Monte Bello is one of the most harmonious young Monte Bellos I can remember tasting. Seamless and voluptuous through to the finish, the 2012 is showing beautifully today. Raspberry jam, pomegranate, white flowers, mint and spices are some of the many notes that flesh out in the glass. A wine with a distinctly red-hued profile, silky tannins, no hard edges and exceptional overall balance, the 2012 Monte Bello is simply magnificent. The 2012 is racy but also impeccably balanced throughout, with shades of the 2001 that come through from time to time. I won't be surprised if the 2013 and 2014 both eventually surpass it, but there is no denying that the 2012 is simply stunning today. This is one of the best showings yet for the 2012. (AG)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Inky colored, the sensational 2012 Monte Bello comes all from the Santa Cruz Mountains and is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. It's backwards and tight, with classic black cherry, crushed violets, cassis, espresso roast and crème brulee notes all flowing seamlessly to a full-bodied, concentrated, structured and layered Bordeaux blend that has bright acidity, a stacked mid-palate and firm tannin. It needs 5-6 years of cellaring and will hold for two decades beyond that. (JD)
A beautifully structured wine, with firm acidity and tannins that show grip and grit amid a core of dense, tense currant and blackberry fruit, turning juicy. Those seeking classic old-school Cabernet will embrace this. Cellaring for five to seven years is the right approach. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2020 through 2035. (JL)
Very deep purple. Burly and briary with great savour and beautifully managed tannins. Clearly very ripe fruit but great freshness. They say this has more tannin than first growths. Already a pleasure! Must be made with extraordinary skill. Heady, balsam notes. Really sophisticated with no sweetness nor alcohol. Great cleanliness on the end.