Aromatically alluring, this presents a trim mix of cedar, dried herb and berry notes, with loamy earth and rocky scents, before ending with firm, gritty tannins. A true-to-form Monte Bello from a mild year. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2023. 4,000 cases made.
Author: James Laube
Wine Advocate | Rating: 95
The 2011 Monte Bello (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc) emerges from the glass with tobacco, grilled herbs, smoke, incense and plums melding together in this soft, beautifully textured Monte Bello. The 2011 is a wine of exceptional textural finesse. The 100% new oak is totally integrated. In 2011, Ridge used a total of 18 of a possible 24 lots for the final blend. The presence of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon is the highest since the 1980s. I expect the 2011 to be a relatively early drinking Monte Bello, but time will be the judge. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2031.