2005 Pride Mountain "Reserve" Sonoma/Napa Counties Claret

SKU #1037580 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Among the richest and most outgoing wines in this issue, Pride's Reserve Claret is a fully extravagant wine that trades equally on deep fruit, ripeness and a wealth of lavish oak spice, but it never crosses over the line of being too much. Its tantalizing plumpness and succulent Merlot properties are offset just now by a bit of Cabernet toughness that prescribes a bit of patience, and make no mistake about it, this compelling effort is certainly bound for better, and it will continue to unfold for six to twelve years and last longer.  (3/ 2009)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A 500-case blend of 56% Napa fruit and 44% Sonoma fruit, the 2005 Reserve Claret (66% Merlot and 34% Cabernet Sauvignon) is a brilliant wine for the vintage. Its deep ruby/purple hue is followed by aromas of smoked herbs, black currants, blackberries, espresso roast, chocolate, and oak. The wine is gorgeously textured and opulent, with a sumptuous, long finish. It is drinking splendidly well, and should continue to do so for a decade or more.  (12/ 2008)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 This Bordeaux blend is enormously rich and densely concentrated in mountain fruitiness. It explodes with blackberry, black currant, chocolate, orange zest, roasted almond and sweet new oak flavors, wrapped into extraordinarily fine tannins. Shows a bit of sharpness that could indicate a mild level of volatility. But it’s a dramatic wine that should live for many, many years.  (7/ 2009)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 ($125; bottled in December of 2007; essentially a blend of two-thirds Vintner Select merlot and one-third reserve cabernet) Good medium ruby. Complex nose melds raspberry, tobacco, caramel and loam. Sweet but youthfully tight, with very good lift to the flavors of raspberry, graphite, cumin and turmeric. Plenty of cabernet structure here. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins. "Our biggest and most intense mountain-style wine," notes Steve Pride, adding that this wine was unapproachable early on.  (5/ 2009)

92 points Wine Spectator

 A seductive style, offering complex layers of mocha and cedary oak alongside ripe, intense currant and wild berry fruit that's tight, focused, full-bodied and persistent on the finish. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2017.  (6/ 2009)

K&L Notes

The cult following for Pride Mountain has been in full force for years now. Situated high up at the top of Spring Mountain, the winery straddles the Sonoma/Napa county line and commands a spectacular view of Mount St Helena. The property was a winery well over 100 years ago, and now produces some of the more sought after wines in California. The reviewers tend to agree with the collectors, as the wines regularly achieve fantastic scores in numerous respected publications

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.