2003 Pride Mountain Napa/Sonoma Counties Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1020173 91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Two Stars* This impressive, generously filled and very solid young wine is at once both powerful and remarkably well-balanced and delivers loads of optimally ripened, curranty fruit juxtaposed with just the right measure of complementary oak. It is quite full on the palate and comes complete with lots of Cabernet tannins, but even as astringency crowds in at the finish, its confident fruit refuses to quit. It is not, nor will ever be the picture of elegance, but its stunning depth and keen varietal precision raise great expectations for a most handsome maturity some eight to ten years hence.  (12/2005)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep red-ruby color. Currant, tobacco, cocoa powder and sweet oak on the nose. Then surprisingly tightly wound in the mouth, with firm acids giving shape and grip to the fresh berry and milk chocolate flavors. In a leaner style for a Pride wine but shows an exhilarating sugar/acid balance. Finishes firmly tannic, bright and gripping. As serious as this seems today, there's nothing hard about it. (ST)  (6/2006)

90 points Wine & Spirits

 Too young to drink, this already shows the high altitude effect of its vineyard at the top of Spring Mountain, as if you could feel the cool ocean breeze and the heat of the sun in the dark fruit of the wine. Oak is primary for now, with the heavy toast that makes it taste like a youthful wine pulled directly from the barrel. Good potential; give it time.  (12/2005)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The dark ruby/purple-hued 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 83% Napa and 17% Sonoma fruit, displays a slight austerity along with drier, tougher tannin than the Merlot or Cabernet Franc. Medium-bodied and well-made, but Bordeaux-like in its backwardness and inaccessibility, this is one of the few Pride Mountain efforts that requires 2-3 years of aging. (RP)  (12/2005)

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 M├ędoc 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.