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Dark-colored, rich and earthy, with complex, mouthcoating currant, anise and minerally scents that pick up a tobacco and leather quality on the finish. Youthful and still firmly tannic, this is a well-balanced, inviting young Cabernet that should keep well for another decade.
The 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello was one of the most backward Cabernets in the March tasting. It almost defies inspection given its austere, extremely tannic, hard style. The opaque purple color is accompanied by a wine that smells and tastes ripe, rich, and brilliantly made, but it will require a minimum of 10-12 years of cellaring to shed enough tannin to become civilized. Although it should be a winner, it may not be as sure a bet as such vintages as 1991, 1992, and 1995. When young, this wine rarely reveals its full potential. Having said that, the last three vintages of the Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon (1993, 1994, and 1995) are immensely impressive, with perhaps the 1994 the least expansive - for now. Range: 90-92
Resting high atop the Santa Cruz Mountains is the Monte Bello vineyard where exquisite wines have been engrained in the estate’s distinguished history. The 180 acres of land was formerly purchased by Dr. Osea Perrone in 1855. The winery and vineyards were left untouched during the years of Prohibition, and later purchased and planted to Cabernet in 1949 by William Short. Ten years later, the estate was sold to three engineers from the Stanford Research Institute from which they produced a tiny amount of wine from the vines planted by Short. The success of that wine and the vintages that followed inspired Dave Bennion and his partners to restore this winery, and Ridge Vineyards was born.
Paul Draper joined the team in 1969 and with his knowledge of fine wine and traditional methods, helped guide Ridge vineyards to craft wines of consistent quality and international recognition. The 1971 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon placed fifth at the 1976 Judgement of Paris. Among the prestigious awards Draper has earned, he is continuing to make rigorously classic and age worthy wines.
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