1994 Ridge Monte Bello

  • 90 WA
  • 92 WS
  • 95 IWC
  • 93 JR
  • Variety
    Red Bordeaux Blend

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SKU: 57622-1994

This item is available by the case only


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  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 90

    The 1994 Monte Bello is showing very well, offering up a fully mature bouquet of ripe currant fruit, brown sugar, tea leaf, black truffles and toasty American oak. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied and open-knit, with a sweet core of fruit, bright acids and somewhat drying tannins that assert themselves on the finish. The 1994's structure seems to have developed quite rapidly, and despite the pedigree of the vintage (which produced some extraordinary wines on the North Coast), this would appear to be a rare example of a Monte Bello that's beginning to ride into the sunset.
    Drink Dates: 2000-2020
    Author: William Kelley
  • Rating: 18

    73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. The 20 separate, small blocks were harvested as they ripened over 10 days. Within 12 hours of crush the color in the juice was the darkest we had seen in any Monte Bello to date. 12-36 hours later natural yeasts started the fermentations. We pumped over twice daily - aerating the juice slightly as we drew it off into a tub and circulated it gently over the skins. At about 16 days, our tastings showed tough tannins in half the fermentors. To avoid over-extraction, we called the full crew in on a Sunday, pressing four tanks that day and another four on Monday. Virtually all were pressed by the time the wines had spent 18 days on the skins. Natural malolactics finished by mid-November; in early December we began assembling the finest of the 20 wines as the Monte Bello. This early assemblage, right after malolactic, gave us a very firm, tannic wine. We racked to barrel on January 12, 1995, using one hundred percent new, air-dried oak, all but a small portion of which was American. The remainder went to French oak, continuing our annual comparison of the two.Seems quite closed at first. Not much on the nose but it is emerging gradually and becomes more and more fragrant. A little leathery, herbal but sweet. Then on the palate it explodes with freshness and fruit and such smooth tannins. They are very smooth but they are still very present. Unusual depth of tannin at this age. Mouthwatering length and still depth of fruit. There's a richness with that freshness that seems so typical of this wine.ÿ (JH)
    Author: Julia Harding MW
  • Rating: 92

    Dark-colored, rich and earthy, with complex, mouthcoating currant, anise and minerally scents that pick up a tobacco and leather quality on the finish. Youthful and still firmly tannic, this is a well-balanced, inviting young Cabernet that should keep well for another decade.--California Cabernet '74/'84/'94 retrospective. 4,000 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 95

    Saturated medium ruby to the rim. Multidimensional, intensely spicy nose combines black plum, black cherry, black raspberry, chocolate mint, coffee and cedar. Fat, thick, dense and impressively deep; penetrating vinosity gives the currently austere black cherry and menthol flavors superb clarity. Powerfully structured and extremely unevolved. Finishes with superb persistence and toothcoating tannins that spread out over the palate. Will be a great Monte Bello.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: September/October 2000
  • Rating: 92

    The 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello was one of the most backward Cabernets in the March tasting. It almost defies inspection given its austere, extremely tannic, hard style. The opaque purple color is accompanied by a wine that smells and tastes ripe, rich, and brilliantly made, but it will require a minimum of 10-12 years of cellaring to shed enough tannin to become civilized. Although it should be a winner, it may not be as sure a bet as such vintages as 1991, 1992, and 1995. When young, this wine rarely reveals its full potential. Having said that, the last three vintages of the Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon (1993, 1994, and 1995) are immensely impressive, with perhaps the 1994 the least expansive - for now.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 97

    A beautiful Bordeaux style wine (12.7% alcohol) that is still drinking beautifully Aged California red doesn't get any better
    Author: Scooter
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Consumed at wine tasting. (1st flight was horizontal, comparing 1994 CA Bordeaux blends. 2nd flight was vertical, comparing different Dominus vintages. This wine was in the 1st flight.) Color: Dark red/purple, very slow, fat legs. Aroma: Not very aromatic. Flavor: Fruity, smooth, medium tannins, smooth finish. Possibly favorite of the 1st flight.
    Author: lordotheporto

Ridge Vineyards, known for its stellar reds, began when San Francisco doctor Osea Perrone bought 180 acres of land near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in California's Santa Cruz Mountains. The cellar, which is also the present-day production site, was built into the mountainside on three levels. After success with several Cabernet Sauvignon vintages in the 1940s, the Perrone family decided to buy the terraces back and began producing high-quality Zinfandel and Cabernet. By the '60s, Ridge was a 45-acre vineyard and produced its first Geyserville Zinfandel. Today, Ridge also has vineyards in Sonoma and Paso Robles. While Cabernet and Zinfandel make up most of Ridge's production, small amounts of Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, and Petite Sirah are also grown.

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See other similar producers:Duckhorn Wine Company,Turley Wine Cellars,Behrens & Hitchcock Winery

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 761 bottles owned
  • 167 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 95
    (Out of 167 collectors)