Pride Mountain Vineyards Reserve Claret 1996 Front Label
Pride Mountain Vineyards Reserve Claret 1996 Front Label

Pride Mountain Vineyards Reserve Claret 1996

  • RP95
  • WS93
750ML / 14.1% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JD95
  • RP94
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  • RP96
  • WE92
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  • WS92
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  • RP97
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750ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is another great Reserve Claret from the top of the mountain. This classic blend of 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petite Verdot offers an incredibly overt aromatic display of ripe blackberry, wild violet, cedar and camphor. On the palate, chocolate nuances evolve from a sweet round middle. Ripe berry flavors linger for minutes on end and marry in an astounding finish. Tannins are ample, yet soft and approachable. This '96 Claret takes us to a new level for this class of blend and represents what a true reserve wine should be.

Blend: 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petite Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1996 Reserve Claret is a blend of 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petite Verdot (230 cases), it is a gorgeously balanced, super-concentrated yet hauntingly symmetrical wine with copious quantities of black fruits, spicy new oak, minerals, licorice, and roasted herbs. Full-bodied, with a cherry liqueur-like richness to its fruit, this wine has loads of glycerin, fabulous extract, and no hard edges. The velvety finish lasts for 40+ seconds. This is a spectacular wine that must be tasted to be believed.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Smooth, ripe and polished, with a complex array of black cherry, currant, anise, cedar, sage and spice, finishing with a tight focus and a long, concentrated aftertaste. Tannins are firm but supple. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet and Petit Verdot. Best from 2000 through 2009.
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Pride Mountain Vineyards

Pride Mountain Vineyards

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Pride Mountain Vineyards, California
Pride Mountain Vineyards Winery Image
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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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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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

ENG133777_1996 Item# 133777

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