Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 2015
Dark ruby in color. Cassis and blackberry aromas, barrel spice, fennel, scented juniper, and cedar. Rich mountain fruit on entry, violets, black olive, refreshing acidity, and elegant tannins. Strong minerality in a long finish.
|Region||California, Central Coast, Santa Cruz Mountains|
VinousOne of the highlights in this tasting, the 2015 Monte Bello will soon take its place among the greatest Monte Bellos ever made. Powerful, deep and explosive, the 2015 possesses magnificent concentration and richness in every dimension. Even with all of its raciness, the 2015 has terrific aromatic presence and regal tannins. The 2015 is a bit less showy than it has been in the past, but it was also just bottled two weeks before this tasting. Readers who own it will be absolutely thrilled.
Wine AdvocateAt this early stage, the 2015 Monte Bello is all about potential. I followed a bottle over several days and only witnessed improvement. The wine unfurls in the glass with a rich bouquet of cassis, ripe plums, espresso roast, black tea and baking chocolate, lavishly framed by minty, spicy new oak—which is often at its most prominent at exactly this stage, when the wine is shutting down after bottling. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with rich, velvety tannins and beautifully succulent, even tangy acidity that lends amazing lift on the finish. The most obvious analogy is the 2005 vintage, though it also evokes a more elegant version of the 1995 Monte Bello. It's a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc that attained 13.5% natural alcohol. Since the wine appears to be shutting down, I'd recommend forgetting it until its tenth birthday. Given its structure and balance, it should enjoy remarkable longevity.