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 a beauty, wafting from the glass with complex aromas of plums, blackberries, bitter chocolate, black truffles, cigar tobacco and hints of crème de cassis. Its new oak is already well integrated. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, richly tannic and very deep, with a layered, concentrated core of fruit framed by chalky, fine-grained tannins. The 2012 is still quite youthfully chewy at this early stage, but there's a certain lavishness to its ripe blackberry fruit that suggests this will be a dramatic, even decadent Monte Bello in the style of the 2002 when it reaches maturity. Late September heat made for a record-setting harvest in only 16 days. The 2012 is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, and it saw a small water addition to finish at 13.8% alcohol.
|Score: 96||William Kelley, Wine Advocate, May 2018|
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: 98||Antonio 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.
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|Score: 95/97||Antonio 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|
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|