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2002 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1018545 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2002 Monte Bello is stunning, bursting from the glass with an expressive nose of ripe blackcurrants, crème de cassis, dried cherries, burning embers, pencil lead, loamy soil and a perfumed top note of lavender. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, lavish and expansive, cutting a broad swathe across the palate, with a deep, concentrated core of succulent fruit that's framed by ripe, plush tannins, concluding with a lingering finish. At age 16, the 2002 is truly singing, so anyone with bottles in their cellar is due for a treat. The blend is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot, and it attained 13.3% alcohol. Unusually, fully 13% was matured in new French oak—with the balance, as usual, in new American oak. (WK) Inner quote mark (5/2018)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2002 Monte Bello is just starting to enter the early plateau of its maturity. Bright red cherry, raspberry, wild flowers, mint and crushed flowers all lift from the glass. Sweet, perfumed and totally gracious, the 2002 has it all going on today. The 2002 is an especially nuanced and feminine Monte Bello, particularly in its aromatics, although it turns sweeter and more unctuous on the mid-palate. There is plenty of depth and intensity, but it is all about understatement when it comes to the 2002, a compelling, racy Monte Bello that is in a great place today. Eric Baugher describes 2002 as a vintage with the lowest yields seen in the last 20 years because of bad weather during bloom. Macerations were shorter than normal because of the inherent richness of the fruit. (AG) Inner quote mark (7/2016)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Deep, full ruby. Explosively perfumed nose combines black raspberry, violet and dark chocolate. Wonderfully layered and penetrating, with expressive flavors of raspberry, currant, bitter chocolate, spices and tobacco. Still an infant, but already offers a rare combination of sweetness and inner-mouth energy. Finishes very fresh and very long, with big, dusty tannins and great lift. This is high in alcohol for Ridge at 13.3%, but a full degree or more lower than virtually any other collectible California Cabernet from this vintage. (ST) Inner quote mark (8/2004)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Strong cassis for once. Sweet ink. Neat, bright fruited and super clean. Great balance. 18/20 points (JR) Inner quote mark (11/2015)

K&L Notes

95+ points Robert Parker: "The 2002 Monte Bello Proprietary Red is a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot. It tastes as if it hasn’t changed since I first sampled it in late 2003 and then again in bottle two years later. The color is healthy ruby/purple, and the wine displays some dusty, oaky, vanillin notes that jump out of the glass along with a touch of white chocolate as well as red and black currants and hints of cedar and forest floor. Extremely young and full-bodied, with some wood char still present, it is unevolved and tastes like it could be a barrel sample, except that it has been in bottle for nearly ten years! This is a blockbuster Ridge Monte Bello that still needs a minimum of another 10 years of bottle-age and should keep for 50+ years. Only for the young and patient!" (Wine Advocate, 6/2012)


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Price: $299.99
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