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1998 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #301138 Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Still very deep crimson with some ruby at the rim. Rich, sweet, developed nose. Flattering nose but quite delicate, almost fragile, on the palate. Seems to be drying out a bit? Or perhaps the tannins are just rather aggressive at this stage in its evolution. Seems a little teenage at this point. (JR) 17/20 Inner quote mark (6/2009)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 1998 Monte Bello Proprietary Red (a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc) exhibits a ripe nose of sweet oak intermixed with blackberries and cassis. It is firm and medium-bodied, with astringent tannin in the finish. Winemaker Paul Draper's comments on the back label are usually modest, but it would appear he is much higher on this vintage than my notes suggest. The 1998 Monte Bello needs 4-5 years of cellaring, and should develop along the lines of an austere Bordeaux vintage. (RP) Inner quote mark (6/2002)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Saturated medium ruby. Sappy aromas of brambly blackberry, currant, cocoa powder, graphite and game, plus a light floral topnote. Almost painfully young and clenched in the mouth: a shock to the palate today. Elevated acidity seems almost lemony. The powerful, drying tannins spread out to cover the entire palate. (ST) Inner quote mark (12/2001)

Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Elegant and spicy, mature and medium-bodied. Fading a bit, but still enjoyable, with dried currant and black cherry fruit joined by shades of anise and fresh earth. (JL, Web Only-2009) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

91 points, Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "The 1998 Monte Bello was showing better than the 1997: more intensity (though less finesse) on the nose - sweet red fruits, mulberry and dark chocolate. The palate is cohesive, very focused with dense black fruits, minerals and pain grille. Well-knit tannins - this is excellent, especially considering the vintage." (5/2009)

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Price: $229.99
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