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2017 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1491954 100 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Pure perfection, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello is a sensational effort from this estate that should be snatched up by drinkers and collectors. This saturated purple-hued beauty is legendary Monte Bello in the making and has a stunning yet primordial bouquet of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, graphite, chocolate, and chalky minerality. Full-bodied, incredibly powerful, and one of the most concentrated versions of this cuvée ever made (I've had most of them), it needs a solid decade of bottle age and will have 50-60 years of overall longevity. Despite the long drinking window, it offers plenty of pleasure even today. I followed this bottle for two days and it showed best right out of the gate, closing down and becoming more brooding and backward with air. It's an incredible wine that I promise you won't regret having in your cellar. Inner quote mark (8/2020)

99 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark This shows incredible intensity and depth of blackberries, pine needles, blackcurrants and black olives. Conifer, too. Love the nose. Full-bodied with so many layers of fruit and very fine, creamy tannins. It goes on for minutes. Impressive density with such weightlessness. Superb wine. Inner quote mark (3/2021)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2017 Monte Bello is ultra powerful and concentrated, unfurling over the several days it was open to reveal rich cassis, roast plums, tar, aniseed and exotic spices. What sets the palate apart is its purity: though incredibly layered, it offers a kaleidoscopic journey from blackcurrant to tobacco and dried flowers, offering continual sparks of flavor long after the wine has been swallowed. Structurally, it has the firm but ripe tannins and seamless freshness to dictate a very long life in the cellar. (EB) Inner quote mark (2/2021)

98 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark This wine may have the most intense and vibrant color of any of the 2017 cabernets we tasted. It definitely has the most vibrant length of flavor, with a complexity that lasts for minutes after each taste and makes it seem disrespectful to spit. Everything about it is a seamless pleasure, particularly the way it incorporates the freshness of cabernet grown in limestone into pure black- cherry flavors, saturated without any sense of weight. The fruit, organically grown and spontaneously fermented, has nothing to get in its way, delivering a fragrance of roses and black raspberries over that dark cherry core, the fruit tannins reading as depths of umami earthiness completely integrated into the silken texture. This wine advanced for several days after it was first opened, then retreated, then came back on the fifth day as a dark, seductive beauty, a Monte Bello that will live for decades. (JG) Inner quote mark (12/2020)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2017 Monte Bello continues to develop beautifully. A heady, opulent wine, the 2017 also has tons of supporting structure to balance things out. Layers of dark red/purplish fruit give the 2017 remarkable primary intensity, with hints of licorice, mocha, dried flowers and menthol that build over time, hinting at the wine's ultimate potential. Sensual and exotic, but with plenty of tannic clout, the 2017 has a very bright future. Today, it is decidedly explosive. In 2017, the berries were small, and that high skin-to-juice ratio yielded a Monte Bello that is quite imposing in the early going. (AG) 97+ Inner quote mark (9/2020)

96 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Distinctive, with vibrant flavors of violet, juniper and anise out front, backed by a core of intense dark currant, plum and cherry fruit. Firmly grounded, showing serious cut and drive through the bay leaf– and sage-accented finish, which sports ample toast alongside the fruit and floral elements. A chiseled, ripped Cabernet for the cellar. *Top 100 Wines of 2020, Collectibles* (JM) Inner quote mark (11/2020)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark This iconic bottling, which hails from mountaintop vines that produce less than 1.5 tons per acre, begins with aromas of roasted plum, clove and nutmeg. The blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc is framed by elegantly tense tannins, as baked plum, mace and cardamom flavors consume the midpalate, while the finish stays quite fresh. This epitomizes the definition of Cellar Selection. *Cellar Selection* (MK) Inner quote mark (12/2020)

94 points Connoisseurs Guide

Outer quote mark One of California's most iconic Cabernets since its inaugural release some fifty years back, the Ridge Monte Bello bottling justly remains so to this day. Never one that dazzles with opulence or that flaunts high ripeness and overly conspicuous oak at the expense of precise fruit and fitting its winery's classic, very elegant form to a "tee" in 2017, this wine is about structure and depth and claret-like composure that is years away from reaching its sophisticated best. Inner quote mark (12/2020)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Inky garnet. Aromas of pencil shavings and American oak layered over darker black plum and cassis. Beautifully sculpted tannins wrap around a core of cassis, black cherry and blueberry fruit that has a stony, earthy depth. Excellent acidity and balance contribute to this wine's characteristic of utter seamlessness that is so compelling. The cedar, coconut and whiskey-barrel notes of the American oak are present, as are the muscles that wood brings to the tannins, which stiffen as the wine finishes with notes of herbs and blackberry. Most Monte Bellos benefit from ageing, and this will be no exception. It is darker and a bit more brooding on release than the 2016 or 2015. Outstanding. (AV) 18.5+/20 points Inner quote mark (9/2020)

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Price: $269.99
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