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RIDGE PROPRIETARY RED "MONTE BELLO", MONTE BELLO VINEYARD, SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS 2013 1.5L MAGNUM
The 2013 Monte Bello is utterly spellbinding in its beauty. Finely sculpted and chiseled, with super-expressive aromatics and searing tannins, the 2013 is shaping up to be a modern-day classic. The 2013 is remarkably pure and vibrant for such a big wine. It will be years before the 2013 is close to being ready to drink. Even so, it is magnificent today. Where will the 2013 end up? The future seems limitless for now. Quite simply, the 2013 is a must-have wine. In 2013, Monte Bello is very heavy in Cabernet Sauvignon, partly because Merlot suffered in the drought-like conditions. The 2013 has already begun to shut down in bottle. Readers need to be in for the long haul.
Tasted out of bottle, the 2013 Monte Bello is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc and just 5% of Merlot (Merlot struggled in 2013 due to the drought). Surprisingly, given the higher Cabernet content, it's more voluptuous and layered than the '12, and has awesome concentration and depth on the palate to go with classic creme de cassis, vanilla bean and violets. Reminding winemaker Eric Baugher of the 1985 (sorry, before my wine drinking time), I suspect this beautifully pure, elegant and seamless beauty will drink nicely in 3-4 years, and have upwards of three decades of overall longevity.