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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004

Merlot from North Coast, California
  • WS94
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
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Try the 2009 Vintage 179 97
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This one's for Cabernet lovers! Although 100% Merlot, the intense inky ruby red hue and aromas of black cherry and cassis will make this a fun wine to slip into Cabernet tastings as a ringer to win. The mid palate is thick with ripeness and broad textures and the slight grip of fine tannin frames the lingering fruit and espresso flavors in the long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
Ripe and fleshy, with a pretty dash of toasty oak. The fruit is sweet, with currant and berry flavors that are intense, concentrated and complex, ending with a pretty burst of fruit and oak that lingers. Well-structured, with ripe tannins.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
You'll find tannins aplenty in this tightly wound mountain Merlot. That gives it a shut-down, dry astringency. Aging is the obvious solution, and such is the balance, the harmony that five to 10 years should soften and sweeten, letting the blackberry and cherry fruit emerge.
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Pride Mountain Vineyards

Pride Mountain Vineyards

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Pride Mountain Vineyards, North Coast, California
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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.

North Coast

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Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.

Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Franc.

NVS133791_2004 Item# 133791