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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

Ridge

34 notes Sort by: Vintage - Name - Rating

2014 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate  (Dry Creek Valley) 85

Lots of bright, peppery, crisp red fruits on the nose, but on the palate, the wine is tannic, tight and drying in the finish. This could improve, but I am not sure how much.

2071 Views   Tasted
2014 Ridge Petite Sirah Lytton Estate  (Dry Creek Valley) 90

With a deep, dark color, with the wine is big, robust and backwards, with a blast of dark berries, but it is slightly monolithic, hence the good, but not great score.

3067 Views   Tasted
2014 Ridge Carignane Buchignani Ranch  (Sonoma County) 82

Rustic, drying, harsh textures with sharp, crisp, bright red fruits and spice. This is clearly not my style of wine.

1829 Views   Tasted
2013 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 97

It's a good deal. I have friends with the younger vintages and I open the older years for them. Yes, this is frightfully young, yet, with its wealth of perfectly ripe, fresh, refined, bright, energetic fruits, it is disarmingly easy to drink now. Full-bodied, concentrated, rich and also light on its feet, the nose, with its blackberry, currant, tobacco leaf, vanilla, smoke and espresso bean it just great. But it is the length, purity and elegance paired with all that power on the palate that knocks you out. Another decade in the cellar will only add more complexity. This is a top vintage of Monte Bello that fans of this wine should not miss. The wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot.

6626 Views   Tasted
2012 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 95

Don't confuse 2012 Ridge Monte Bello with all those lush, sexy wines from Napa Valley, because you will be sorely disappointed. That being said, this is a beauty, but in a completely different style. From a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot, this wine would be quite at home in the Left Bank Bordeaux, with its crisp, fresh, ripe, but firm tannic structure. The fruit has a great sense of purity, and a crisp, vibrant character, that will demand 10-15 years of age. If you have the patience, it will be worth the wait. My treasured 1991 Ridges are now drinking great, and I am sure this will age along the same path.

12880 Views   Tasted
2010 Ridge Carignane  (Central Coast) 82

Earthy, bright, cherry, red berry, light, short. Not much fun to taste.

1739 Views   Tasted
2010 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 93

On the fresh, bright, crisp, structured side of the style range, the wine is powerful, restrained, firm and you would expect, quite young. Give it another 8-10 years of sleep and lets see what we really have. Ridge Monte Bello has such a great track record for aging, I am sure it will be worth the wait.

5197 Views   Tasted
2009 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 96

Clearly Ridge is the most consistent producer of quality Cabernet Sauvignon over the past several decades. Classic is often a pejorative term when used for California wine. That is not the case. Blending 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, not that different than what you might from a top estate in the Medoc the wine pops with fresh, blackberry, earth, oak and spice. Full bodied, concentrated and structured to age, there is symmetry to the wine and a softness to the ripe sweet tannins that feels great on the palate. I like trying these young when I can, before I lay them down to sleep for a decade or two. I am just now starting to pop my 1991's.

8997 Views   Tasted
2008 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 95

It's all about the potential here with this stunner. From a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot, the wine is ripe, powerful, balanced, complex and rich. Ridge Monte Bello takes a long time to come around, but it's worth the wait.

8804 Views   Tasted
2007 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate  (Dry Creek Valley) 91

With 12% Vioginer blended with Syrah, the wine offers a juicy mouthful of spice, earth, back raspberry, blackberry, pepper, herbs and earth. Rich textures, good freshness and a plush, dark berry finish. Give this another year or two to soften and develop.

1851 Views   Tasted
2007 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 93

A fresher, bright, crisp, focused styled wine here, with sweet, dark, red berries, earth, tobacco and a blackberries. Blind, I thought it was a Left Bank Bordeaux. Classic and classy in character, this should be even better with another 5 or more years in the bottle.

8165 Views   Tasted

Ripe aromas of licorice, blackberry, vanilla and earth, rich, full bodied, concentrated, tannic and structured to age, this elegantly styled, California Cabernet Sauvignon, made from a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc is a perfect ringer to insert into a blind tasting of California versus Bordeaux.

9599 Views   Tasted 93
2006 Ridge Syrah/Grenache Lytton Estate  (Dry Creek Valley) 88

Spicy, jammy, peppery blackberries, good concentration, with a drying sensation in the finish.

1998 Views   Tasted
2006 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 93

Still young, this tannic, fresh, crisp, crunchy, concentrated, full bodied wine offers a lot of potential. But 5-10 more years are needed before the blackberries, cassis, oak and earth come together, soften and become fun to drink. The wine was made from a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc.

5510 Views   Tasted
2005 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 95

From a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, this Bordeaux styled expression of California Cabernet Sauvignon is another winner from perhaps one of the most consistent producers in the Golden State. Deep in color, with a nose packed with licorice, coffee, cassis, earth, smoke and spice, it's powerful, full bodied, tannic, concentrated and harmonious. Ridge Monte Bello is a contender for the California Cabernet Sauvignon that demands the most aging before it matures. I'd leave it for at least another 10-15 years if you want to enjoy its display of secondary aromas and textures that accompany old Monte Bello.

8207 Views   Tasted
2002 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 93

From a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot, the wine remains deeply colored. With a nose of truffle, cassis, tobacco, blackberry, dark cherry, earth and smoke, this concentrated, dense, full bodied, tannic wine needs time in the cellar to come around fully. Ridge Monte Bello is one of the best California Cabernet Sauvignon wines for aging, give it 5-10 more years.

4431 Views   Tasted
2001 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 96

The first bottle from the case is always fun to taste, as you do not know what to expect. I was not let down. From a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot, the wine pops with cassis, blackberry, earth, spice, tobacco and forest floor notes. Big, rich, concentrated and packed with layers of ripe, juicy, dark berries, soft tannins and freshness, everything is in place for a long life. This is still young. For a wine that's over a decade old, the color still looks like a young wine! You can either enjoy in its earth, or lay it down for another decade or more. When mature, this will probably deserve another Pt or two! It's really great example of California Caberent Sauvignon.

7025 Views   Tasted
2000 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 91

Tobacco, earth, cigar box, cassis and fennel aromatics opened to a medum/full bodied wine of freshness, soft textures, cassis and blackberries. This is not a wine of depth and power. It's about freshness meshed with elegance. There is no need to hold this wine as it's probably in prime time drinking mode today.

7829 Views   Tasted
1997 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 92

Medium/full bodied, with a fresh, vibrant, crisp, clean personality, the serves up a beautiful display of fresh, ripe, cherries and plums with the right amount of lift to keep things going. But it lacks the weight and depth of the better vintages for this often stunning wine.

5920 Views   Tasted

This must be the earliest drinking vintage of Ridge Monte Bello I have ever tasted. This forward Cabernet Sauvignon offers earth, cassis, blackberry, tobacco and forest floor aromas. Medium/full bodied and soft in texture, for Ridge, this is not a vintage that requires additional cellaring. It's already drinking perfecly today.

8124 Views   Tasted 93
1996 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 95

Tobacco, peppery herbs and blackberries on the nose move to a fresh, crisp, juicy, refreshing mouthful full of ripe, juicy, sweet fruits. This is quite stylish.

3346 Views   Tasted

If anyone wanted to state Ridge Montebello is the best example of a classic style of California Cabernet Sauvignon, I'm going to agree with them. This stunning wine is just what the doctor ordered, with its concentrated layers of fresh dark berries, earth, spice and tobacco scented personality. Mouth filling, multi-layered, long rich, the wine builds in the mouth and captures your attention with each additional sniff, swirl and sip. Still young, this should age for decades.

5218 Views   Tasted 97
1995 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 92

Is this the longest lived California Cabernet Sauvignon produced today? Perhaps, as this is still so young, fresh and vibrant, in color, aromatics and flavors, I was thinking this was 10 years younger than its true age. Medium/full bodied, with a real freshness to the red fruits, with liberal doses of smoke, tobacco and forest floor sensations. As a guess, 5 more years should add more softness, but this will always be on the classic, bright side of the style range. The wine was produced from blending 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. It is interesting note that starting with the 1995 vintage, the blending was conducted later, during the aging process.

3973 Views   Tasted
1994 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 93

I’m always going to be a sucker for this style of wine. Freshness, power, ripe fruit and the structure to age, what’s not to like? The wine lacks the same level of concentration found in the best vintages, but the style remains the same. Age this, or pop a bottle now, either way it’s a treat.

3265 Views   Tasted

If I needed to pick a wine that exemplifies the classic style of California Cabs, I’d pick Montebello. Combining red & black fruits with spices, herbs and licorice notes, blind, I might have guessed St Julien.

2647 Views   Tasted 94
1994 Ridge Geyserville  (Sonoma County) 89

Slightly past its prime, but this charmer offered a lot of earth, spice and tobacco character. I remember this from years ago. The fruit is not what it used to be. But most of us are not what we used to be either. Drink up.

4275 Views   Tasted
1992 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 90

Tobacco, cassis, earth and spicy dark berry scents led to a medium/full bodied, tannic wine. It was surprising to find this much tannin in a 20 year old Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine felt dry in the mouth and could be seen as an austere style of Ridge. It shows like it needs more time. but at 20 years of age, it is what it is. Some tasters are clearly going to enjoy this wine more than I did. I sensed the quality, but this blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc did not offer nearly as much pleasure as the 1991.

5052 Views   Tasted
1991 Ridge Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 95

Just a fabulous, classic California Cabernet drinking in the sweet spot. The complex set of aromatics offers cedar, tobacco, cassis, blackberry, forest leaf, pepper, herbs and a tinge of smoke. The ripe red fruits are bright and fresh. The wine is balanced, earthy, long and complex, making you want to check it out again and again. Popped and poured, well-stored bottles should be great for at least 15-20 more years.

2920 Views   Tasted

At more than 20 years of age is still young. This powerful, concentrated, dense wine is filled with rich, ripe black fruit, anise and cassis aromatics. While the wine offers ample concentration, there was a lack of complexity.

5793 Views   Tasted 92

This powerful, concentrated, dense wine is filled with rich, ripe black fruit, anise and cassis aromatics. While the wine offers ample concentration, there was a lack of complexity.

5717 Views   Tasted 93
1985 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 93

Drinking perfectly today, with a nose dominated by earth, dark red and black fruits, wood and tobacco, the wine was round, clean, fresh and pure, finishing with ripe red and black fruits. It's not the 1991, but it's a very nice example of a mature, traditional, California, Caberent Sauvignon.

3806 Views   Tasted
1978 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 93

Brick in color, with green olives, cedar, smoke, peppery spice and cassis on the nose. Fully mature, with a spicy, herb, tobacco and cherry core of fruit, the wine has lift, fruit, length and concentration. This is a classic example of California Cabernet Sauvignon drinking at peak.

2389 Views   Tasted
1974 Ridge Merlot Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 95

A rare bottle I am not likely to see again, this stunner brings you a blend of vanilla, spice, coffee bean, tobacco leaf, forest, cigar box and cherries. Rich, round, full and amazingly youthful, the cherry toned finish is a beauty. This is the debut vintage for the Merlot Monte Bello.

1623 Views   Tasted
1974 Ridge Lytton Springs  (Dry Creek Valley) 93

Unbelievably good wine. Served blind, it was a dead ringer for a very good, fully mature, Chateauneuf du Pape. The fruit here was still going strong. Kirsch, kirsch and more kirsch, with pepper and herbs, soft, elegant textures and freshness remained. This was purchased on release and perfectly store all these years, so your YMMV.

1525 Views   Tasted
1974 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 95

The color was dark. On the nose scents of cedar, flowers, mocha, chocolate and herbs filled the glass. Full bodied with a slightly tannic finish. The mouth rejoices in a bath of red & black fruit. The finish was long.

3356 Views   Tasted
1974 Ridge Petite Sirah York Creek  (Spring Mountain District) 65

Blind, I would swear it was an Amarone with its overripe, raisin character. This might be of historical interest to some, and if that style of aged Petit Syrah is your thing, you might like it more than I did. But one sniff and sip was all I needed, or could take.

538 Views   Tasted
1973 Ridge Zinfandel Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 83

Red tea in color, the wine is medium-bodied, with a peppery, cherry core of fruits on the nose and palate. Not a bad wine, just not much left in the tank.

412 Views   Tasted
1971 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard  (Napa Valley) 97

There are some wines that due to their extreme rarity and so elusive, I never think I am going to taste it. 1971 Ridge Eisele was one of those wines. I will probably never see another bottle. But the experience is not one I will forget. Spice box, coconut, earth, black cherry liqueur, tobacco, cedar and fennel notes were enough to keep my interest. On the palate, the wine is soft, clean, fresh and packed with blackberry and cherry notes. This was still going strong at over 40 years of age.

4718 Views   Tasted
1969 Ridge Riesling  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 55

Sporting an orange hue, this wine proves what happens when you blend vasoline with gasoline and wine. Vile is how I would describe it. But, I admit, others enjoyed the wine more than I. The wine, a rare bottle was late picked and the label read 13.5 alcohol. The 5 points were added for being wet.

2042 Views   Tasted
1968 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 96

WOW! The blast of tobacco, cedar wood, smoke, herbs and cassis could have come from Pauillac, and a serious Classified Growth at that. Full-bodied, a little rustic, but long and dense, the wine is rough and ready, leaving you with a lengthy flash of red fruits and herbs.

2987 Views   Tasted