|Subregion||U.S.A. > California|
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The 2013 Monte Bello is a very special vintage for this great wine. Amazingly, it has yet to shut down, unfurling in the glass to reveal a bouquet of black raspberries, cassis, rich espresso roast, cigar wrapper, subtle black truffle and burning embers that has already integrated its 100% new oak remarkably completely. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, powerful and multidimensional, with a lavishly textural attack that segues into a stunningly layered, richly structured mid-palate endowed with incredible depth and concentration underpinned by succulent acids. The finish is long, vibrant and beautifully delineated. The 2013 is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot, and it attained 13.6% natural alcohol. Analytically, this ranks as one of the most tannic vintages of Monte Bello ever produced, but the tannins are of such high quality and cloaked in such a wealth of fruit that Ridge forwent their habitual egg white fining this year—beginning a trend that has continued since. This profound Monte Bello will begin to blossom as it reaches age ten and should prove practically immortal.
Showing even better than last year, the 2013 Monte Bello is a tour de force, and a step up over the 2012. Full-bodied, layered, beautifully concentrated and seamless, it knocks it out of the park with its classic bouquet of plums, vanilla bean, cedary spice, scorched earth and cigar. Made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot, aged in 98% new American oak (there’s 2% new French oak), I wish I had bottles in the cellar. It should be at its best from 2023-2043.
Cask sample. Very Cabernet nose, again with spice – great polish and depth. Firm acidity and much more obvious tannins than the 2014. Drink 2025-2050
A Monte Bello for the ages, the 2013's brooding bouquet unfolds to reveal notes of black raspberry, juicy blackcurrant, burning embers and deep-pitched, rich soil tones. On the palate the wine is simply stunning, with a beautifully three-dimensional, refined tannic chassis. Analytically, this is the most tannic Monte Bello of the millenium, but that structure is clothed with a wealth of fruit—so much so that Ridge forwent their habitual egg white fining this year. Watch this profound wine begin to blossom after a decade in the cellar. Drinking window 2025 - 2080.
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. Drink 2019 - 2053.