TN: Ridge MonteBello '99 & '19....(short/boring)

We tasted this pair at our Cabernet tasting at Pig+Fig on Wed:

  1. Ridge MonteBello Calif MonteBelloVnyd/SantaCruzMtns (13.0%; 72% CabSauv/25% Merlot/2% CabFranc/1% PetiteVerdot; Y=166 tons from 105 acres; 42% Slctn; bttld March 2001; 93% air-dried Am.oak/7% Fr.oak; Drk: 1/01-1/11-1/16: PD) 1999: Very dark color w/ slight bricking; strong smokey/coffee bean/toasty/smokey/oak some blackcurranty/Cab/licorice/pencilly/cedary rather complex nose; lightly tart strong blackcurranty/Cab/earthy/slight herbal strong coffee bean/toasty/oak slight angular/astringent quite complex flavor w/ light hard tannins; very long/lingering strong blackcurranty/Cab/licorice/pungent coffee bean/toasty/smokey/oak slight earthy/herbal slight earthy/dusty/OV/herbal rather complex finish w/ light hard tannins; still seems like a youthful MonteBello but showing some slight hard/drying edges.

  1. Ridge MonteBello MonteBelloVnyd/SantaCruzMtns (13.7%; 82% CabSauv/9% Merlot/8% PetiteVerdot/1% CabFranc; Y=143 tons from 65 acres; bttld June 2021; Drk: 4/21-4/46-4/51: JO) 2019: Very dark color; very strong coffee bean/espresso/pungent/smokey/oak/toasty very strong ripe/blackcurranty/Cab slight dusty/OV/earthy some complex nose very youthful nose; some tart/tangy very strong blackcurranty/Cab/bit herbal/earthy strong toasty/coffee bean/pungent/oak classic young MB bit complex flavor w/ ample hard tannins; very long/lingering strong blackcurranty/Cab/dusty/OV/bit earthy/herbal strong toasty/smokey/oak bit complex finish w/ ample chewey tannins; a very classic MB Cab that baly needs age to resolve the tannins but absolutely superb to drink now. $155 (MBC)

A wee BloodyPulpit:

  1. My latest MB Cab arrived a few weeks ago, so decided to pare it w/ an older MonteBello. Both were classic distinctive MonteBellos. From the drinking window, John must think it’s an exceptional Cab. Can’t tell it by me.
1 Like

So the 2019 isn’t an exception cab or you just don’t think it will last 30+ years? Didn’t get your meaning.

Thanks for the notes.

Well, Justin… what I’m trying to convey is that there was nothing about this MB that was strikingly outstanding that made me
wanta stand up & shout to the ceiling that you must buy this. That happens maybe 1-2 every decade when I try a young MB.
Oftentimes when it’s a large component of Cab and it takes me back to the days of the DaveBennion MB’s.
That said…this is a classic MB Cab, as good as it gets, & I have no reason to doubt John’s drinking window. I’m happy to
own two more btls.


Thanks Tom. What do you think are the more exceptional vintages in the last decade or so?

Well, Justin… I don’t drink them enough & side-by-side to offer up an opinion. I remember I really liked the '10 from barrel because its high level of Cab reminded me of the Dave Bennions of old. But when I had it from btl, it didn’t blow me away as much.
MonteBello you can’t go wrong. Very distinctive and always a standout. Just not worth arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Sorry.

Got two '19’s chilling out on their sides. I’n half tempted to open one, but will see if I can hold off.