Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2007
Merlot from North Coast, California
#34 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010
Our 2007 Merlot is a multi-layered, expressive wine. The base blend is composed of wines from 11 distinctive vineyard blocks across our mountaintop estate. Texture has been polished by blending with 6% Cabernet Sauvignon from our intensely structured Rock Arch vineyard block. The wine opens with a big, perfumey nose featuring red raspberry, plum preserves, black and maraschino cherries and brown sugar. The palate is soft, luscious and silky, with intense flavors that coat the mouth. With sustained presence, fruit and spice flavors are revealed in bursts and waves. The structure is typical of our mountaintop Merlot – tannins are firm, but have been ripened to the point of being round rather than aggressive, a wine that leaves the taste buds longing for a second sip.
Wine Spectator - "Lush and rich, yet impeccably structured, with bold red currant and toasty mocha aromas and layered flavors of ripe plum, loamy earth and spice, finishing with big but ripe tannins. Drink now through 2015. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 4,503 cases made. "
The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Merlot, which comes from both Napa and Sonoma fruit (the Pride Mountain vineyards are split by the county line), exhibits a dense purple color as well as abundant chocolate and berry fruit notes, medium to full body, and great freshness, length, and depth. It is a heady, succulent style of Merlot to drink over the next 7-10 years. "
Connoisseurs' Guide - "From its intense, deeply filled aromas of caramel, chocolate, ripe berries, tobacco and coffee to its dramatic and highly extracted flavors, this wine goes right to the brink in terms of richness and power without quite going over the edge. It is hefty stuff by any and all standards, but it is overly heavy and is nicely balanced for the big wine that it is. Its slightly abrasive, tannin-laced finish tags it as one to let rest in the cellar, but its potential for five or more years of growth is beyond question."
Wine Enthusiast - "Unusually rich and concentrated for a Merlot. Shows classic structure, with firm, ripe tannins and good acidity, although the oak sticks out. A small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon adds a blackberry depth to the cherries and raspberries. Decant if you drink now, but better to cellar until mid-2010."
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Pride Mountain Vineyards
Pride Mountain Vineyards is situated on the Summit Ranch, one of Napa Valley's oldest grape producers atop Spring Mountain. With over 120 years of viticulture documented there, Jim and Carolyn Pride purchased Summit Ranch and their first vintage premiered in 1991. Today, Pride Mountain Vineyards produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Viognier and limited bottlings of Syrah and Sangiovese. View all Pride Mountain Vineyards Wines
About North CoastView a map of North Coast wineries
Beyond Napa and Sonoma in the north you find a couple of other counties producing great wine. Among these are Mendocino and Lake County. The northernmost California winegrowing regions, these two counties are right above Napa and Sonoma, geographically. Yet, wine-wise they are very different – both from their southern neighbors and from each other.
Notable FactsMendocino has a high amount of organic vintners and vines. The first winery to settle here was Fetzer, which practices organic viticulture and holds some of the most vineyard land in the area. Mendocino has many pockets of micro-climates while Lake County, being smaller in size, is less diverse climactically. As for the grapes, Chardonnay is the most popular in both counties, but there are also some excellent Sauvignon Blancs, particularly in the Lake County. In red wine, Zinfandel leads the way, followed by Rhone Blends and Petite Sirah. The reds in both counties are complex and sumptuous. Anderson Valley is a sub-AVA of Mendicino and is quite well known for its excellent cool climate, producing the delicious Roederer Estate sparkling wines and some wonderful cool-climate Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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