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2002 Monte Bello - 375mL

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2002 Monte Bello - 375mL

Price: $152.00

2002 Monte Bello - 375mL (half bottle)
74% cabernet sauvignon, 18% merlot, 8% petit verdot

95+ points - Robert Parker
Wine Advocate #201, June 2012

2002 Monte Bello Estate Vineyard, bottled May 2004 After an unusually early star to 2001's growing season, 2002 settled back to normal. The merlot crop was reduced by May rains during set, but cabernet yields—making up for last year—were extravagant, and we thinned rigorously to ensure ripening. We harvested the thirty parcels as flavors developed, dividing them into thirty-six separate lots of three to six tons each. Color and tannin developed easily, so in order to prolong the natural-yeast fermentations, we radically reduced circulation of juice over the cap. Delaying the first assemblage until March allowed the wine to stabilize. We initially chose ten of the most intense lots for the Monte Bello, adding four more in May, at the second assemblage. Eighty-seven percent of the wine aged in new, air-dried american oak barrels; as our ongoing control, thirteen percent—an uncommonly large proportion—aged in new french oak. To moderate the firm tannins, we made numerous experimental fresh-eggwhite finings, deciding only this month that the unfined wine was more classically Monte Bello. Beautifully structured and balanced now, it will reach another level of complexity with six to eight years in bottle, and age fully over the next twenty. PD (1/04)