Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 2016
|Region||California, Central Coast, Santa Cruz Mountains|
One of the highlights in this tasting, the 2016 Monte Bello has turned out just as beautifully as I hoped it would. Soaring aromatics, bright acids and mid-weight structure give the 2016 a super-classic feel. Clearly, the 2016 is very primary today, with plenty of bright red and purplish berry fruit. More than that, though, the 2016 pulses with energy and simply exceptional balance. Don't miss it!
Bottled in March of 2018 and a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello offers a more streamlined, elegant, and ultra-classic style compared to the 2014 and 2015, which are slightly bigger, richer wines. Boasting a deep purple color and beautiful purity in its crème de cassis, blueberry, white flowers, and vanilla bean, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, silky tannins, and perfect balance. It doesn't have the sheer depth of fruit of some of the blockbuster years, yet makes up for it with its incredible purity, poise, and balance. Relatively approachable for a Monte Bello, it's still going to see its 30th birthday in fine form.
The 2016 Monte Bello is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc, aged 18 months in 100% new oak (98% American and 2% French). It has a medium to deep ruby color and is youthfully coiled, slowly developing scents of dark chocolate, pencil shavings, cedar, loamy soil, dried flowers, licorice, blackcurrant and black cherry with red berry sparks and exotic spices. The palate is full-bodied and youthfully firm, slowly unfolding with mineral-tinged fruits. It has a frame of firm, pixelated tannins and seamlessly woven acidity, finishing very long and full of latent layers.
Plush and dense, with a distinct racy edge for counterbalance, showing a massive core of dark plum and blackberry fruit, scored by bay leaf, sage and violet notes. A massive young wine that will cruise in the cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.-Non-blind Ridge Monte Bello vertical (June 2019). Best from 2026 through 2046.