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Flat front label of wine

Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2005

Merlot from North Coast, California
  • WS93
  • RP91
  • CG91
14.8% ABV
  • JD90
  • WE90
  • WE91
  • RP90
  • WE93
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  • RP90
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  • CG92
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  • CG90
  • W&S93
  • WS93
  • WE93
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  • WS93
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Very ripe, blackberry and currant aromas with a trace of vanilla. Broad, expansive and even across the mid-palate, with a candy-like middle and chewy tannins. Soft edges and tremendous length. Merlot for Cab people!

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Rich and concentrated, with bold aromas of plum, currant and mocha leading to complex, layered blackberry, licorice and spice flavors that finish with a flourish of ripe, minerally tannins. Drink now through 2012. 4913 cases made.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The superb 2005 Merlot, a blend of fruit from Napa (70%) and Sonoma (30%), exhibits sweet plum and black currant fruit intermixed with mocha, coffee, and earth notes. This medium to full-bodied, elegant, lush, heady wine begs for consumption over the next 7-8 years.
CG 91
Connoisseurs' Guide
Wonderfully rich and well-concentrated aromas of sweet oak and optimally ripened cherries make for a stellar start here, and the wine more than lives up to its promise with powerful, keenly proportioned flavors brimming with precise varietal fruit. Big, but beautifully balanced with a long, insistent finish, it is a generous and involving Merlot even now and has the structure and strength to get better with time, and it is certain to reward that patience with increased range and richness when held for another few years.
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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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Encompassing the grape-growing regions located north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano. Napa and Sonoma get all of the attention, but there are a few other counties producing great wine in Northern California. Two notable examples are Mendocino and Lake County, the northernmost winegrowing regions in the state. These AVAs are very different, both from their neighbors to the south and from one another.

Mendocino benefits from the cooling fog of the Pacific Ocean and is able to successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. There is a significant focus here on organic viticulture. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc are the dominant varieties. Both regions are excellent sources of high-quality but affordable California wines in a wide range of styles.

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. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, 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 and Cabernet Franc.

KHM116972_2005 Item# 116972