|U.S.A.||2006||Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello, Ridge Vineyards||BT||1 \ 0||12||2,450.00||12||12||272.22222133333||95.10||95.10||Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello, Ridge||0.75||10|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
A dark, brooding beauty, the 2006 Monte Bello is still very, very young. The aromatics alone are enticing, but the tannins still need time to soften. The 2006 is a masculine, vertical Monte Bello that demands cellaring. Even so, it is pretty impressive today. Scents of lavender, sage, mint and savory herbs add closing flourishes. The perfumed sweetness of the fruit - one of the hallmarks of the very late harvest - remains one of the signatures of the 2006. The 2006 can be enjoyed today or cellared for another 25+ years.
As it approaches age twelve, the 2006 Monte Bello is still quite reserved on the nose and on the palate, unwinding in the glass with a bouquet of cassis, cherries, pencil lead, dark chocolate, cigar box and dried rose petal. On the palate, it's full-bodied, layered and still firmly structured, carrying considerable extract and concluding with chalky grip. Rich, concentrated and powerful, the raw materials are very impressive but they're still wrapped up in some formidable structure. Eric Baugher describes the 2006 Monte Bello as "a sleeper vintage: backward and tannic when it was young, and released in a challenging economy," and that's the case today. Like the 1995 vintage, I suspect this will be a Monte Bello that really hits its stride at age 20 rather than age ten, but patient consumers with time on their side should give it serious consideration.
While it is eclipsed by the brilliance of the 2005, the 2006 Monte Bello (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc) is a very strong effort. Its dense purple color is followed by copious aromas of creme de cassis, licorice, spice box, and a touch of oak. Well-balanced, dense, pure, layered, and rich, its big, rich style is similar to the 2003. This cuvee should keep for 25-30 years in a cool cellar.