The 1997 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello *** is a sometimes gorgeous wine. My previous experience with this wine, at a Wine Spectator tasting in 2007, was phenomenal. Previously, I had tasted one bottle damaged by heat - thin, bland, and boring. And before that, I had been less than wowed. This time around, the wine was very clearly Monte Bello, with dark berry fruits, thick tannins, and strong underlying acidity.
The 2006 of Dumol's "Lia," a Russian River Valley Viognier *** was super: rich and ripe fruit, tight body, good length.
The 2003 Kistler "Dutton Ranch" Russian River Valley Chardonnay *** was a pale gold color, with petrol and a little rubbery funk on the nose that dissipated as the wine opened up to reveal lemon meringue pie and custard notes.