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2004 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1032562 94 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark Ridge grows one of the most distinctive Cabernets in California at its Monte Bello estate. This vintage represents a selection of 38 percent of the crop, which itself had been naturally restricted by lower than average rainfall, particularly in winter. Ridge doesn't irrigate these vines-nor do they inoculate the juice to start fermentation, which yielded a modest 13.2 percent alcohol in 2004. The fractured limestone in the soil provided just enough moisture to grow this elegant Cabernet, with flavors of wild black cherries and black currants. It feels balanced and firm, dense while weightless, a beauty that will mature for two decades from the vintage, perhaps longer. Inner quote mark (12/2007)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Ruby-red. Smoky cherry and cassis aromas are complicated by wilted rose, cured meat, licorice and sexy oak spices. Lush and creamy in texture, offering well-delineated red- and blackcurrant flavors, good dusty tannic grip, and a sweet, expansive finish. Impressively deep and chewy, but good mineral lift keeps everything in check. (JR) Inner quote mark (11/2007)

93 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Readers looking for a Monte Bello that is ready to drink should consider the 2004. Just beginning to enter its early plateau of maturity, the 2004 is in a beautiful spot right now. Sweet tobacco, smoke, cedar, licorice and leather meld into a core of dark fruit. The 2004 won't last forever, but it does have enough depth to age beautifully for the another decade, perhaps more. A distinctly floral/savory finish rounds things out nicely. (AG) Inner quote mark (7/2014)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2004 Monte Bello opens in the glass with classic aromas of cigar box, spice and crushed red and black currant fruit, revealing little obvious trace of its time in new oak. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied but still quite tightly wound, with a firm chassis of fine-grained tannins and a bright line of acidity that seem to demand further cellaring. I suspect it's in a somewhat withdrawn phase between youth and maturity. (WK) 92+ Inner quote mark (5/2018)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Particularly dark and dense - strongly marked by Cabernet aromas yet very graceful tannins as well as being so ambitious. Very virile. (JR) 19/20 Inner quote mark (3/2010)

K&L Notes

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Here's Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s assessment, with 91 points, in February 2010: "The 2004 Monte Bello (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) reveals a similar dark ruby/purple color, but it is not as thick looking as the 2003 or 2005. A lighter, more elegant example of Monte Bello, the finesse-styled 2004 does not possess the power one normally sees in this wine. It offers pure fruit, a pretty, St.-Julien-like style, notes of cedar, spice box, herbs, background oak, and red as well as black currants, and silky tannin. It is capable of lasting 15-20 years. Ridge’s iconic Monte Bello Proprietary Red (no longer called Cabernet Sauvignon) is one of the candidates for the longest-lived Bordeaux blend made in California. Even vintages from the late sixties and early seventies are still vibrant wines." (Wine Advocate)

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Price: $219.99
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