Monte Bello is one of the great wines of California. 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc. Though 2011 was a difficult vintage in most of California, Ridge hit a home run (again) with Monte Bello. It might be drinking a bit earlier than other vintages, but it is a fantastic wine. Purple in color. The nose has cassis, cigar box, plums and char. Very nice. On the palate, this has a wonderful texture that is lush and full bodied but not over the top. Plenty of cassis and plum fruit with underlying earthiness and slight char. Good finish. Works with medium and heavier foods. This is just delicious now but should improves with some more time in the bottle.