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2001 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1011204 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2001 Monte Bello is a very atypical vintage for Ridge, attaining a record high alcohol of 14.1% and containing an unprecedented 36% Merlot. Baugher remembers that the grapes retained green, unripe flavors while sugars soared, so he was forced to wait to pick. It's hard not to be seduced by the resulting wine, which wafts from the glass with lavish aromas of ripe plums, black truffles, dark chocolate, cigar ash and loamy soil. It's full-bodied, ample and dramatic, with a broad, expansive attack and a voluptuously layered mid-palate, its sweet fruit complemented by plenty of savory nuance. At this stage, I prefer the 2002, which is almost as generous but better balanced and more Cabernet Sauvignon-driven in personality, but I suspect many tasters will favor the more opulent, sun-kissed 2001. (WK) Inner quote mark (5/2018)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2001 Monte Bello is a total turn-on. Racy and hedonistic, especially by Ridge standards, the 2001 makes a strong opening statement with its super-ripe fruit and explosive aromatics. Beams of supporting tannin lie in the background and serve to give the wine its overall shape. Hints of leather, mint and sweet tobacco add perfume throughout. Over the last few years, the 2001 has begun to develop quite a bit of more tertiary notes. It remains one of the most flamboyant (and ripest) Monte Bello ever made. (AG) Inner quote mark (6/2017)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Without doubt this is a wine to cellar. It’s massive in flavor, with the purist blackcurrant and cassis fruit you can imagine, and the huge plaster of sweet oak is perfectly balanced. Then there are the tannins. They’re fine and complex, but gritty. *Cellar Selection* Inner quote mark (4/2005)

95 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark No tasting note given. Inner quote mark (12/2004)

95 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Gorgeous. Dense, rich and concentrated, with a tight core of blackberry and wild berry with floral and berry jam touches. Tight yet expressive, softening ever so slightly and ending with a persistent push of mineral and berry. (JL, Web Only-2011) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

96 points, Stephen Tanzer in Vinous: "Full, bright ruby-red. Initially reserved, youthful nose opened slowly to reveal aromas of blackberry, cassis, dark chocolate, graphite, tobacco and spices. Wonderfully ripe, almost liqueur-like on entry, then plush and thick but vibrant in the middle, with highly concentrated black fruit, bitter chocolate, tobacco and mineral flavors framed by perfectly integrated acidity. A wonderfully complete, sweet, youthful wine with the added creaminess--but no loss of energy--from a strong dollop of Merlot. This was the 40th anniversary bottling for this California classic, and its listed alcohol of 14.2% was the highest to date. Finishes with big, ripe tannins and outstanding persistence. In the context of Monte Bello, this wine is remarkably ripe, sweet and rich, and it should still go on in a cool cellar for at least another couple decades." (06/2020)

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Price: $329.99
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By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/12/2013 | Send Email
I brought a bottle of this to Quattro restaurant in the Four Seasons for their "Friday Nights Uncorked" promotion, when they invite you to bring your own wine. My oldest friend and I enjoyed the wine with Quattro's 16oz bone-in Piedmont rib-eye, and went for the black truffles on top for good measure. This is the biggest, ripest, most opulent Monte Bello I have tasted, and since Cinnamon worked up there for years I have been fortunate enough to taste a lot. At 12 years old it is still young, but certainly into its drinking window. I can't recommend it highly enough for a steak night!

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