Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello, Ridge 2012

RegionU.S.A.
SubregionCalifornia
ColourRed
TypeStill

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Tasting Notes

The 2012 is a racy, voluptuous Monte Bello built on a core of sweet red fruit, with striking perfume, silky tannins and fabulous overall balance. The 2012 is of course an infant, and the new oak is still evident. As Vinous readers know, Monte Bello is a wine that really should not be touched until its tenth birthday, and even that requires an optimistic view. The 2012 has been a consistently brilliant wine. Today, it is once again stellar.

Score: 97+Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2016

The 2012 Monte Bello is one of the most harmonious young Monte Bellos I can remember tasting. Seamless and voluptuous through to the finish, the 2012 is showing beautifully today. Raspberry jam, pomegranate, white flowers, mint and spices are some of the many notes that flesh out in the glass. A wine with a distinctly red-hued profile, silky tannins, no hard edges and exceptional overall balance, the 2012 Monte Bello is simply magnificent. The 2012 is racy but also impeccably balanced throughout, with shades of the 2001 that come through from time to time. I won't be surprised if the 2013 and 2014 both eventually surpass it, but there is no denying that the 2012 is simply stunning today. This is one of the best showings yet for the 2012.

Score: 98Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2015

Today, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello comes across as a firmer, more structured version of the 2009. The purity of the fruit is striking. Pomegranate, dark raspberries, cloves, menthol and licorice all wrap around the palate in a Montebello that appears to be built for the long haul. The balance of fruit, acidity and structure is stunning. As appealing as the 2012 is today, readers will have to be patient here. In 2012, the Monte Bello Cabernets were harvested ahead of Zinfandel for the first time ever, as sugars started to race up toward the end of the season. Nineteen out of a possible twenty-four parcels were used in the final blend. The blend is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot.

If a formal Bordeaux-like classification existed for US wineries, Ridge would be at the top of the list. Endowed with a stunning set of terroirs, the vision of Paul Draper and the talent of winemaker Eric Baugher, Ridge is set to build on an extraordinary legacy of world-class wines. Ridge is one of the best and most intelligently run wineries anywhere in the world. In addition to this gorgeous set of current and upcoming releases, I am also including notes on a few library releases I tasted during my last visit. Prices remain exceedingly fair for what are world-class wines in every way.

Score: 95/97Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2013

Inky colored, the sensational 2012 Monte Bello comes all from the Santa Cruz Mountains and is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. It's backwards and tight, with classic black cherry, crushed violets, cassis, espresso roast and crème brulee notes all flowing seamlessly to a full-bodied, concentrated, structured and layered Bordeaux blend that has bright acidity, a stacked mid-palate and firm tannin. It needs 5-6 years of cellaring and will hold for two decades beyond that. Drink 2020 - 2040.

Score: 94+Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (221), October 2015

Actually 18++
Double decanted. 64% Cabernet, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot. 2.4% water addition because everything ripened so fast; some calcium carbonate, for some of the tartest lots.
Very good quantity. Silky texture and great tannic charge with long fruit. Very classy and complete. 13.8% Drink 2020-2040

Score: 18+Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, May 2015

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.