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Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2007

Merlot from North Coast, California
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  • CG92
  • WE91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

#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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 94
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.
RP 92
Robert Parker's 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.
CG 92
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.
WE 91
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

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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.

PBC9099727_2007 Item# 106443