Ridge “Monte Bello” 2009 [6/cs]

California Santa Cruz Mountains
Cabernet and Cabernet Blends
Type: Red Table Wine
Vintage: 2009

“The 2009 Monte Bello,72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot is simply magnificent. Layers of dark red fruit, flowers, spices and graphite are all woven together in this utterly impeccable wine. The 2009 is an especially huge, intense Monte Bello, yet a sexy, silky core of fruit lies within its imposing frame. Everything comes together in this glorious, radiant wine. Last year the 2009 had some pretty stiff competition from the 2010, but today it is simply firing on all cylinders. Eric Baugher describes 2009 as a year with cold weather early on, followed by heat in early June and July. The fruit was brought in on October 12, just before an intense downpour swept through the region. There is a purity and silkiness supported by structure in the 2009 that is impossible not to admire. Simply put, this is another utterly magnificent, towering masterpiece from Ridge. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2049.”

98 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Aug 2012


“Inky black. Dark and coaly on the nose. Mouthwatering, dark, savoury, tarry cassis but there’s also a pine/cedary and garrigue note from the site. Smoky, complex and concentrated. Even though it is so dark and intense, it is juicy on the finish. Some spice but not overly oaky even now. Incredibly firmly structured but no hardness and still has a freshness. Finishes with great fruit purity. Going back, lovely, lively peppery note. Hint of mocha on the very end.”

18+/20 Jancis Robinson, Nov 2013


“The 2009 Ridge Monte Bello is a world-class wine of epic proportions. It delivers top quality pure black fruits, cassis, pencil shavings, graphite, charcoal, coffee and even fresh floral. This wine has it all, balance, amazing precision and focus, depth, along with a seamless structure and an ultra-long, tight gripping finish. While still in its infancy, it is hard to find many flaws in the wine right now. It’s not everyday you come across a wine of this caliber, and while you can get away with this approaching now, it should also continue to evolve for a quarter century for those willing to wait. The composition consists of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. (Best 2013-2032).”

97+ points, International Wine Report, Sept 2012


“(72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot): Opaque ruby. Assertive redcurrant, cherry and pipe tobacco aromas, with suave floral and mineral notes gaining strength with air. Fresh and precise, offering deeply concentrated red berry and bitter cherry flavours, a supple texture and slow-building sweetness. Becomes more exotically floral with air, finishing sappy and long, with excellent clarity and gentle tannic grip. An extremely promising young Monte Bello that smoothly melds power and vivacity.”

96 points, Josh Reynolds vinous.com, Nov 2012


“Taut and structured, with cedar-laced currant, dark berry and dried berry notes joining a mix of minerally fresh earth and tobacco flavours, offering a wide range of tight-knit fruit overall. Firmly tannic on the finish, yet the ripe purity pushes through. True to form Monte Bello in a classic style. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2014 through 2030. 2,800 cases made.”

95 points, Wine Spectator, Nov 2012


“Ridge has quietly been making world-class Cabernets for some forty years and, from the beginning, they have been balanced wines that have emphasized beauty over brawn. This latest is a deep and wonderfully refined working that teams a wealth of precise varietal fruit with suggestions of fresh loam, briar, black tea and a very complementary measure of mildly vanillin oak. Make no mistake, this is by no means a “light” wine, and despite being so well-crafted as to be almost seamless, it needs several years of age before even starting to hit its stride, and it is guaranteed to continue to grow for a generation.”

95 points Three Stars, Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wines, Dec 2012