Ridge Monte Bello (0.75 L)
Saturated ruby-black in hue, the 1991 Monte Bello is still a young wine, only entering its youthful plateau of maturity. Offering up a decadently jammy bouquet of ripe blackberries, crème de cassis, acacia flowers and creamy American oak, the wine is expansive and full-bodied on the palate, simultaneously open-knit but densely concentrated, with a decidedly voluptuous, textural profile. Supple and comparatively low in acidity and tannin (a perception Baugher tells me is confirmed by chemical analysis), this is a Monte Bello characterized more by exuberant generosity and drama than complexity. Interestingly, the 1991 is also more obviously marked by its time in new American oak than either the 1990 or 1992. The product of a warm September and October, the 1991 is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot that attained 13.1% natural alcohol.
WA / RP: 96