1984 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #900150 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Fully mature, yet still beautiful, the 1984 Monte Bello offers classic mature Bordeaux notes of currants, truffles, underbrush and cured meats to go with a medium to full-bodied, elegant, silky and completely integrated feel on the palate. It's a beautiful, layered and classy wine to drink on a special occasion over the coming 5-10 years. (JD)  (9/2015)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium, amber-edged red. Ripe, chocolatey aromas of plum, currant, leather and cedar; claret-like, complex and just about mature. Juicy, deep and subtly rich but not especially fleshy. Intensely flavored and penetrating, with surprising acidity for the year. Stylish and long on the aftertaste. A warm year in a cool region, notes Draper. (ST)  (10/2000)

92 points Vinous

 The 1984 Monte Bello is a terrific choice for drinking now and over the next decade or so, as it is close to being fully mature. Iron, smoke, tobacco, game, scorched earth and licorice, along with coarse tannins give the 1984 its somewhat burly, rustic personality. I expect the 1984 will remain at its current plateau of maturity for at least a few years, but it will always be wild, muscular and not especially polished relative to the very best years. (AG)  (6/2017)

91 points James Suckling

 Dates, and Turkish delight and sultanas. Fascinating nose. Full and round with soft tannins and a vanilla tea flavor with hints of fruits. Subtle and friendly. Like a cashmere cardigan with holes in the elbows. Lovely old wine.  (5/2012)

Jancis Robinson

 Very dark and thick crimson. Very complex and complete. Warm and round. So lovely! Richer than a red bordeaux would be - but no less complex. 19/20 points.  (3/2010)

K&L Notes

Ridge's famed estate Cabernet blend from an outstanding vintage. At a 2011 tasting hosted by Decanter magazine, Steven Spurrier described the 1984 Ridge Monte Bello as "flawlessly firm."

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Price: $329.99
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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.

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.


- 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.
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.