A California Cab for Someone Special

There are many commendable California cabs, but my favorite is Ridge Monte Bello, a Bordeaux blend from a vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains that’s predominantly cabernet sauvignon. This fall, the winery — which is best known for its zinfandels and is extremely selective when it comes to making its signature Monte Bello available — offered bottles of its highly rated 2015 online. I dug deep into my pocket and bought some. It’s a consistent classic. Sleek and balanced between the tension of its acidity and the richness of its fruit, the wine is deliciously drinkable now but also ready to hibernate for many years in your cellar. It is the perfect gift for a discerning wine lover who is not seduced by hype or cult.

Ridge Monte Bello 2015, $215 for a 750-milliliter bottle, shop.ridgewine.com.

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Florence Fabricant is a food and wine writer. She writes the weekly Front Burner and Off the Menu columns, as well as the Pairings column, which appears alongside the monthly wine reviews. She has also written 12 cookbooks.

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