James Laube, Wine Spectator, And The 1997 Monte Bello!

For those of you who haven’t yet seen it, James Laube of Wine Spectator has recently written on the 1997 Ridge Monte Bello. You can find his article here:


It’s an interesting article, for a number of reasons, and I’m wondering if any of you had reactions similar to mine? Let me know!


(p.s. you can find some of my recent tasting notes on the ’97 monte bello here: https://blog.ridgewine.com/2010/02/19/tasting-notes-15-vintage-monte-bello-vertical-milestone-and-milestones/)

Categories: Monte Bello, Press Reviews, Tasting Notes

Tags: , ,

3 replies

  1. From my experience, Monte Bello can be quite enjoyable when first released, particularly from a ripe vintage such as ’91 or ’97. Within a couple of years after that, it often goes into a closed phase that can take 5 or more years for it to come out of. Because of this, I tend to not even look at a Monte Bello until it’s 10-12 years old. This explains why it is only now that Laube is starting to re-experience what he tasted in the ’97 in its youth. It’s surprising that a guy who is considered to be a CA wine expert of such high standing doesn’t know this about one of the most highly regarded CA Cabernets.

    I have reviewed the ’90-’93 Monte Bellos in the last year or so and am happy to inform Mr. Laube that they too are not the least bit “tired”, but on the contrary are doing exceedingly well, thank you very much.

    Here’s the page that covers all of the Ridge wines we’ve reviewed.
    We follow you pretty closely.
    Keep up the great work!


  2. At least he’s open about what he likes – very ripe, ready to drink wines. He’s not a fan of well aged wines or wines that need aging. He severely underrates wines that need and reward aging.

    He likes wines I hate and vice versa. Even when he likes a wine I like, such as this, he underrates it a bit. It comes down to palate type. He’ll never truly “get” a wine like Monte Bello. He’ll just appreciate it to a superficial degree in bolder years.

  3. Monte Bello should be a knockoff of a Bordeaux???? Goodness, that must make someone up there wince.

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