1996 Pride Mountain "Reserve" Napa Valley Claret
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.
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.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Full ruby color. Sexy oak complements cassis, graphite and smoke aromas. Tightly wrapped on the palate, but clearly more intensely flavored than the last sample. Lovely minerally inner-mouth perfume. Big but unevolved. Finishes quite strong, with firm tannins supported by sheer material. Impressive wine.
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.