2004 Pride Mountain Napa/Sonoma Counties Merlot
Ripe and fleshy, with a pretty dash of toasty oak. The fruit is sweet, with currant and berry flavors that are intense, concentrated and complex, ending with a pretty burst of fruit and oak that lingers. Well-structured, with ripe tannins.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark red. Sexy, expressive, slightly high-toned nose melds redcurrant, cranberry, leather and nuts. Supple and refined, with a creamy texture to the red fruit and spice flavors. Finishes with broad, dusty tannins and lovely aromatic persistence. Slightly high-toned throughout but not overly sweet. I find this quite suave.
You'll find tannins aplenty in this tightly wound mountain Merlot. That gives it a shut-down, dry astringency. Aging is the obvious solution, and such is the balance, the harmony that five to 10 years should soften and sweeten, letting the blackberry and cherry fruit emerge.
There is a real wealth of sweet cherry qualities to both the liberally oaked aromas and the slightly juicy flavors of this mouthfilling Merlot, but all of its richness comes at the cost of some last-minute heat. In the end, ripeness over-takes its fruitier parts, and it dries out just a bit at the finish. It is, however, still a generous and very commendable wine. It is just a bit less involving and lacks the fruity extension shown by its two high-achieving siblings above.
Wine & Spirits
A smooth, crowd-pleasing merlot, this jams blackberry and toffee flavors into a confit to sweeten a steak.