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Pride Mountain Vineyards Reserve Claret 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from North Coast, California
  • RP93
  • WE93
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Blended from exactly 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, this 2008 Reserve Claret is characterized by luscious berry, plum and cassis flavors, a bright zing of acidity and silky, ripe tannins. The Claret was assembled from the final blends for the Vintner Select Merlot and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon wines, and was then allowed to marry in barrel for six months and in bottle for an additional eight months. The 2008 vintage provided the winery with an ultra-light crop of Clone 3 merlot for this wine. But it also produced warm, dry weather that allowed the merlot to mature to a singular intensity and aromatic complexity, reminiscent of the ripest vintages including 2002 and 1997.

Blend: 60% Merlot/40% Cabernet Sauvignon

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Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Reserve Claret emerges from the glass with expressive dark red fruit, licorice, leather and spices, revealing gorgeous length and persistence. Firm yet well-integrated tannins frame the fruit beautifully from start to finish. Hints of mocha and sweet spices linger on the close. There is an attractive fleshiness to the Claret that makes the wine approachable and enjoyable even today. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.
Rating: 93+
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Few Bordeaux-style wines in California are as ripe and bold as this, but that's the Pride style. The wine explodes in spicy blackberry, currant and cherry fruit, almost like punch, while oak adds toasty notes. A heady wine, it's also brutally firm in tannins.
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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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Bordeaux Blends

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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.

In the Glass

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. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

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.

MRW121670_2008 Item# 121670