Decanter Magazine‘s recent review of 45 California Cabernets from the 2010 vintage discusses the highs and lows of the 2010 vintage, a cooler growing season known for producing wines of exceptional freshness and balance.
2010 Monte Bello earned the title of ‘Top Californian Cabernet 2010’ in the panel tasting and was one of only two wines classified as “outstanding.”
“Ridge can trace the first vintage of wine being made from the Monte Bello site back to 1892 and this rich history of production is certainly matched by the esteem in which the wine is held today. The expert hand of Chief Winemaker Paul Draper, Decanter Man of the Year (2000), ensured another successful vintage from this iconic Californian estate in 2010, which concluded with the wine spending 18 months in US oak barrels. Stephen Brook: Refined blackcurrant and garrigue nose. Herbal but not herbaceous. Quite rich, and solid, concentrated and firm, with a good tannic backbone. This is robust and structured, with refreshing acidity on the long finish. Still plenty of life in it. Delicious! Alex Hunt MW: Masterful composure on the nose here. Some tannin (possibly wood-derived) to resolve, but there is abundantly classy and precise blue and black berry fruit, and a real richness of flavour achieved without resorting to high ripeness and alcohol. Still very young, this wine is a strong long-term bet. Piotr Petras MS: Fruit-driven, spicy and chocolatey aromas. The palate is generous and dense, yet showing firm tannins and characterful, stone character. Very well-made.” 95 Points