Tasting Note                         

97   1995   Ridge  Monte Bello (Santa Cruz Mtns)   12/25/15  ($55)

69% CS, 18% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% CabernetFranc 12.5% alc
Color: Deep garnet, slight browning at rim, no clearing to speak of. (3.5) Bouquet: Dusty cassis, pen ink, gray clay and intereting forestal nuances. Elegant and expressive. (3.5) Body: Light heavyweight with excellent fruit and outstanding balance of acidity and smooth tannins. Coats mouth beautifully. (3.5) Flavor: Parallels bouquet step for step. (3.5) Finish: Long, complex and delicious. (4.0)
Overall: A very great Monte Bello. It has improved from the last time I drank it, 3 years ago. More complex and expressive. Flavors of dusty cassis, pen ink, gray clay and elegant forestal nuances are compelling. Not as concentrated as '92 or '96, but built from the same first growth, Pauillac-like mold. The combination of elegance and complexity with plenty of Bordeaux-style fruit keeps me coming back for another taste, as each sip reveals something new. Drink now (It's at its best!) and in the next few years. (18)

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