at Salty's Pub, Clifton Park, NY (10/25/2007)

The WCC met to compare Dominus Estate and Ridge Montebello in some of the top vintages since the mid-80s. The wines were served blind only in that we didn't know which was which in each vintage. Both wines showed very well in most vintages, but the 94 Dominus was the star of the evening. I think the 91 of both and 94 Montebello would have been even closer if given more decant time. We only had one of the wines in 1984 and 1998. Dinner started at about 7:15pm.

A. Ridge Montebello
Gorgeous nose of cedar and black berries. A beautiful wine which is complex and fully mature. Would be easy to mistake for a good Bordeaux. 92 points.
Day 3: Starting to turn, but still some red fruit and licorice in the nose along with some turpentine. Still smooth in the mouth with dried red fruit and licorice. Tasty.

A. Ridge Montebello

Cedar and black cherry nose. Sweet, simple black cherry in the mouth. Some slightly off flavor, but not enough to spoil it. 91 points.

B. Dominus Estate
[Double decanted at 1pm.] Aggressive nose. Still tannic and rough. Bad bottle? NR

A. Ridge Montebello

[Double decanted at 6pm.] Slightly sour, but delicious. Really complex nose. A fine and tasty wine surely at its peak right now. 93 points.
Day 3: Gone.

B. Dominus Estate
[Double decanted at 6pm.] Classic Bordeaux nose of cedar and currants. Serious Old World stuff. Fully ready now. 94 points.

A. Ridge Montebello
Minty black raspberry nose. Rich, complex, more powerful than any of the above. 96 points.

B. Dominus Estate
[Double decanted at 6pm.] Big, rich, powerful nose. Huge and youthful in the mouth with tons of red fruit and licorice. 95 points.

A. Ridge Montebello
[Opened at 7pm. Not decanted.] Monster cab nose. Huge, youthful, classic California cab. Wow! Tons of ripe cassis, licorice and wild cherries. My 2nd WOTN and the 2nd bottle of this that I have loved tasted blind! 97-99 points.

B. Dominus Estate
Muted cedar nose. Muted in the mouth. Flat. Showing much better after 2 hours. I suspect this was not decanted. Probably needs a few more hours to really show its stuff. 95 points for now.

A. Ridge Montebello

[Double decanted at 6pm.] Monster ripe nose. Rich, complex, and tannic. Great, classic stuff. Best 2014-2025. Could have benefited from longer decanting. 96 points.

B. Dominus Estate
[Double decanted at 8am.] Ethereal nose. Amazingly structured and complex. Delicious nose, but will grow for 20 years. Easy WOTN for me. One of the truly great wines ever made in California. Group WOTN by a wide margin. I could drink this all night. 100 points.

A. Dominus Estate

[Opened at 6pm.] Beautiful, sweet cherry nose. Youthful and medicinal at this point, but still appealing. 92-94 points.

B. Ridge Montebello
[Double decanted at 10am.] Tight, tannic, but very long with excellent potential. 93-95 points.

A. Ridge Montebello

Super ripe red fruit nose. Smooth, silky, lush. Terrific stuff! Long licorice and black fruit finish. My 3rd WOTN. 97 points.
Day 3: Still gorgeous, youthful with beautiful ripe fruit. This is a great vintage.

B. Dominus Estate
[Vigorously double decanted at 5pm.] Sour cherry nose. Astringent and slightly green. Don't know what's up with this. NR

A. Dominus Estate

Black cherry nose. Thick, silky, tasty black cherry. Very tasty stuff and drinking quite well now. 92 points.


1970 Warre's, Vintage Port, Tercentenary Les Amis du Vin

[Double decanted at 5pm. $8.99 Barbara's World sticker on it!] Medicinal nose. Sweet, slightly caramelized. Disjointed. Has seen better days.

WOTN Voting (3pts each person for #1, 2pts for #2, 1pt for #3)

1351994 Dominus
2111994 Montebello
381997 Dominus
471991 Montebello
561997 Montebello
6(tie)41987 Dominus
6(tie)41995 Dominus
831987 Montebello
9(tie)21986 Montebello
9(tie)21995 Montebello
11(tie)11991 Dominus
11(tie)11998 Dominus




All orignal content © Ken Vastola