91(15.0) 1989 Ridge Monte Bello 12/25/02 ($40)
86% Cab, 12% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot 13.4% alc
Color: Deep garnet with a healthy amount of onion skin. Looks ready. (3.5) Bouquet: Delicate ink and ceiling wax with cassis and blackberry. Medium-bodied, but rich and perfumy. (3.5) Body: Very well-balanced with good tannin-to-fruit ratio. Only a solid middleweight, but silky and pretty. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, but not as rich. Still very tasty. (3.0) Finish: More tannin than fruit with neither being strong. The flavors are still enjoyable, but the finish is short. (2.0)
Overall: Wonderful character, but a little lacking in concentration. Elegant and still shows the age worthiness of Monte Bello even in an off vintage with solid tannin that is integrated. This could hold its excellent rating another 2-4 years, but probably won’t improve. Very enjoyable and probably at its best now.