Californian Cabernet 2010: panel tasting results

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A fresh, elegant and charming Californian Cabernet vintage that should have fans of Bordeaux rushing to their merchants - if only the wines were more readily available and affordable. See the top 45 wines including 4 recommended Outstanding here...
California Cabernet 2010, Ridge Estate Monte Bello Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Central Coast
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Ridge, Estate, Monte Bello Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains, Central Coast

Ridge, Estate, Monte Bello Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains, Central Coast
Decanter average score: 18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores:
Stephen Brook 18.5 Pierre Mansour 18.5 Angela Mount 18.5
This little brother to the timeless Monte Bello, was radiant in a cold year (cold enough that a few lots required brief deacidification). Draper and winemaker Eric Baugher blended from lots deemed a bit too forward for Monte Bello, but the bones are the same – though the blend of 80% Cabernet, plus Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc gets far less new US oak for aging. There remains a light touch in the cellar, with indigenous yeasts and just eight days before pressing off skins, making this a snapshot of Ridge’s Santa Cruz terroir that’s easier to enjoy in the near term.
Stephen Brook:
Shy nose with a good deal of classy oak and chocolate notes. Initially severe, this is rich, concentrated and quite grippy, with good underlying acidity balancing sweetness of fruit. Fresh, elegant and sleek.
Pierre Mansour: Classy, fragrant nose of cedar, blueberry and exotic high-quality oak. The palate is round and ripe with superb fruit quality, fine-grained tannins and a very long finish. A really delicious understated and elegant style.
Angela Mount: Linear and restrained, with a streak of flint and a structured core of blueberry fruit and integrated tannins. Supple, elegant, layered and poised.
Price: £40–£43 Berry Bros & Rudd, Butlers Wine Cellar, Dawes Fine Wine, Fine & Rare, Selfridges, The Secret Cellar
Drink 2014 - 2020
Alc 13%