Tasting Note                         

96+   2005  Ridge  Monte Bello (Santa Cruz Mtns)   12/3/17  ($150)

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22 % Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc   13.4% alc
Color: Very deep garnet. (3.5) Bouquet: Concentrated, ripe cassis and dried ripe black plum fruit complemented by scorched earth, graphite and forestal nuances. (3.5) Body: Heavyweight with outstanding fruit, acidity and big, smooth tannins. Well balanced for its size. Coats the mouth with viscosity. (3.5) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, step-for-step. Concentrated and delicious. (3.5) Finish: Long, intense finish. The fruit gets sweet and flowery here. (4.0)
Overall: A world class, first growth, Medoc-like Cabernet. With fantastic cassis fruit concentration and structure. This was very closed when first opened and took 24 hours for it to open up and strut its stuff, even from a half bottle. Shows a lot of cocoa oak, but has the fruit to take it. This needs another 4-5 years, unless you double decant and then cork it for 24 hours. On day 2 it's everything that you would expect from a top notch vintage of Monte Bello with just a little dried black fruit in the mix. (18)

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