A while back, I had a run of bad luck with 1994 California Cabernets being over the hill. Not surprisingly, however, this Monte Bello was in fine fettle. In my experience, there are few California cabs more cellar worthy than the Monte Bello.
Although this bottle of the 1994 Monte Bello had deposited a substantial amount of sediment, the wine was still a deep ruby in color. The bouquet suggested dark berries, dried currants, cedar, and leather. Smooth and silky on the palate, with whatever tannins it once possessed having rounded and softened. Surprisingly feminine for the vintage. Grade: A-
BTW, I served this wine with Lamb Chops and Mint Salsa Verde from the latest issue of Saveur, along with an Emerald Kale salad and a Greek orzo salad I picked up from Whole Foods. The wine was an excellent match (I totally disagree with Saveur's recommendation of a white wine to match with the lamb; how absurd) and the lamb in salsa was delicious. You need to make this meal. It's excellent.