Decanter (May 2016): 100 Points. A Monte Bello for the ages, the 2013’s brooding bouquet unfolds to reveal notes of black raspberry, juicy blackcurrant, burning embers and deep-pitched, rich soil tones. On the palate the wine is simply stunning, with a beautifully three-dimensional, refined tannic chassis. Analytically, this is the most tannic Monte Bello of the millenium, but that structure is clothed with a wealth of fruit—so much so that Ridge forwent their habitual egg white fining this year. Watch this profound wine begin to blossom after a decade in the cellar.
The Wine Advocate (October 2016): 100 Points. The 2013 Monte Bello is a very special vintage for this great wine. Amazingly, it has yet to shut down, unfurling in the glass to reveal a bouquet of black raspberries, cassis, rich espresso roast, cigar wrapper, subtle black truffle and burning embers that has already integrated its 100% new oak remarkably completely. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, powerful and multidimensional, with a lavishly textural attack that segues into a stunningly layered, richly structured mid-palate endowed with incredible depth and concentration underpinned by succulent acids. The finish is long, vibrant and beautifully delineated. The 2013 is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot, and it attained 13.6% natural alcohol. Analytically, this ranks as one of the most tannic vintages of Monte Bello ever produced, but the tannins are of such high quality and cloaked in such a wealth of fruit that Ridge forwent their habitual egg white fining this year—beginning a trend that has continued since. This profound Monte Bello will begin to blossom as it reaches age ten and should prove practically immortal.
Vinous Media (July 2016): 98+ Points. “The 2013 Monte Bello is utterly spellbinding in its beauty. Finely sculpted and chiseled, with super-expressive aromatics and searing tannins, the 2013 is shaping up to be a modern-day classic. The 2013 is remarkably pure and vibrant for such a big wine. It will be years before the 2013 is close to being ready to drink. Even so, it is magnificent today. Where will the 2013 end up? The future seems limitless for now. Quite simply, the 2013 is a must-have wine. In 2013, Monte Bello is very heavy in Cabernet Sauvignon, partly because Merlot suffered in the drought-like conditions. The 2013 has already begun to shut down in bottle. Readers need to be in for the long haul.” – Antonio Galloni