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Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2006

Merlot from North Coast, California
  • CG92
0% ABV
  • JD90
  • V90
  • WE90
  • WE91
  • RP90
  • WE93
  • RP90
  • WE93
  • RP90
  • WS94
  • CG92
  • RP92
  • WE91
  • WS93
  • CG91
  • RP91
  • WS94
  • WE90
  • WS92
  • CG90
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • W&S93
  • RP90
  • WS93
  • RP90
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • WS90
  • WE93
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

From our vineyard atop Spring Mountain, the 2006 vintage produced wines of generous richness and expressive aromatics, and our Merlot is no exception. Red cherry, raspberry, cocoa and tar notes in the nose frame a broad wine with plenty of stuffing. With the first sip, the sensuous mouthfeel leads into the wine's more serious side, as weighty but sweet tannins extend into a minutes-long finish. The blend is made up of 81% Clone 181 Merlot, contributing classic red fruit and bright acidity, 7% Clone 3 Merlot, adding heady floral and black fruit notes, and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon from our terraced Canyon Ranch vineyard block, bringing structure and focus to the final cuvée. A wine for Cabernet lovers, our Merlot is no wine to underestimate, and will continue to evolve over ten to twelve years in the bottle.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
CG 92
Connoisseurs' Guide
Wispy suggestions of loam and briar are almost obscured by chocolate and cherries in the highly ripe aromas of this one, but, the wine judiciously takes a step back in the mouth from excess and eschews simple ripeness in favor of sweet oak and deep, fully extracted fruit. Its pushy tannins do get in the way of early enjoyment, but it is certain to smooth and expand over half a decade or more.
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Pride Mountain Vineyards

Pride Mountain Vineyards

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Pride Mountain Vineyards, North Coast, California
2006 Merlot
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.

DOB101454_2006 Item# 101454

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