Tasting Note                         

96+  1992  Ridge  Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mtns)  5/23/14 ($55)

80% CS, 11% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot   13.4% alc
Color: Very deep garnet. A touch of browning, but no clearing. Amazing for 22 yrs. old. (4.0) Bouquet: Mint, subtle forestal nuances, briar, and beef jerky complement concentrated, dried blackberry/cassis fruit. Slightly restrained, but precise. (3.5) Body: Silky mouthfeel that coats beautifully. Big, smooth tannins with excellent fruit and acidity. A Heavyweight with Restrained Power! (4.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, but shows some astringency here. (3.0) Finish: Tangy minerality propels the complex nuances with elegant tobacco and ashes lingering. (3.5)
Overall: A great Monte Bello that is peak, but still has plenty of life, another 10 years at least. Well balanced and interesting, but its structure speaks the loudest with loads of big, smooth black peppery tannins. A monolith of a wine that might even improve as it gains more elegance over the next 5-10 years. I wish I had a case to follow it, but unfortunately this is my last bottle. Reminiscent of Latour, but at the same time strikes me as a unique wine of place. (18.0)

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