Tasting Note                         

91+   2000   Ridge  Monte Bello (Santa Cruz Mtns)   1/16/15  ($80)

 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc   13.4% alc
Color: Very deep garnet. Slight browning at rim, but no clearing. (3.5) Bouquet: Burnt caramel, dark chocolate and cedar complement blackberry and black plum fruit with acidity and minerality supporting it. (3.0) Body: Excellent acidity and very good, smooth tannins support sufficient fruit. Tangy mouthfeel that coats. Light Heavyweight. (3.0) Flavor: Cassis comes out here, showing nice sweetness after a 2 hour decant. (3.5) Finish: Parallels bouquet, but with a slight bitterness. Structure lingers, but fruit does not. Also shows some interestng Port-like nuances here. (3.0)
Overall: An excellent Bordeaux blend with room to improve. Very well put together for the vintage, which was possibly the worst for CA Cabernet in the last 22 years (Worst since '89 ?). This is very well balanced and structured. It could use more fruit, but it's sufficient and it shows well now after a 2 hour decant. Could improve in the next few years as the tannins continue to smooth, as long as the fruit holds. (16.0)

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