#94 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012
Deep ruby/purple, with aromas of blackberry, red current, ripe cassis, cedar, crushed rock minerality, toasted oak. Full-bodied, with a rich tannin structure, dark berry fruit, firm acid, wet-stone, juniper, forest floor, cola, and lingering exotic oak spice finish.
Blend: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot
"The 2009 Monte Bello ,72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot is simply magnificent. Layers of dark red fruit, flowers, spices and graphite are all woven together in this utterly impeccable wine. The 2009 is an especially huge, intense Monte Bello, yet a sexy, silky core of fruit lies within its imposing frame. Everything comes together in this glorious, radiant wine. Last year the 2009 had some pretty stiff competition from the 2010, but today it is simply firing on all cylinders. Eric Baugher describes 2009 as a year with cold weather early on, followed by heat in early June and July. The fruit was brought in on October 12, just before an intense downpour swept through the region. There is a purity and silkiness supported by structure in the 2009 that is impossible not to admire. Simply put, this is another utterly magnificent, towering masterpiece from Ridge. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2049."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni
"Taut and structured, with cedar-laced currant, dark berry and dried berry notes joining a mix of minerally fresh
earth and tobacco flavors, offering a wide range of tight-knit fruit overall. Firmly tannic on the finish, yet the ripe
purity pushes through. True to form Monte Bello in a classic style. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Best from 2014 through 2030."
"A relatively dry growing season and a cool fall produced this Monte Bello's austere power and grace. It's a substantial wine based on bright, mountain-grown fruit, lush strawberry and red currant flavors that track the energy of the tannins. There's a savory earth tone underneath, complexity built into the tannins that will develop over the next decade. For now, the new oak is prominent; give this time to realize its full beauty."
Wine & Spirits