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Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2012

Merlot from North Coast, California
  • WE91
  • RP90
14.4% ABV
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Printable Version "Exuberant" is the word that springs to mind when the cork on this wine is pulled. Swirling aromas of plum, raspberry, strawberry, sandalwood and cocoa powder immediately make their mark, followed by a palate bursting with fruit, and a full, round texture that balances density against liveliness through just the right amount of acidity. The finish is ripe and rich, with a lingering sensation of pleasing silky tannins. After a few cooler vintages that made delicious but more subdued Merlots, the 2012 is a return to a more expansive mouth-filling style that typifies warm, even growing seasons on the winery's mountaintop.

Blend: 92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Joined by 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, this stellar wine from an almost 50-50 Napa-Sonoma divide delivers big flavor and tannin and yet exudes vibrant juicy plum and blueberry, keeping it grounded and alive. Silky through and through, it’s complex in dark chocolate and a touch of dried herbs.Editors' Choice.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The outstanding 2012 Merlot is composed of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 18 months in 40% new French oak. There are 5,350 cases. It exhibits a classic Merlot bouquet of coffee beans, white chocolate, mocha, black cherries and plums. This lush, heady, sexy, medium to full-bodied Merlot can be consumed over the next 7-8 years.
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Pride Mountain Vineyards

Pride Mountain Vineyards

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Pride Mountain Vineyards, 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.
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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.

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An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot can be made into a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the best wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol where it is blended with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly from California’s Napa Valley.

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.

SSR151990_2012 Item# 151990