2003 Pride Mountain "Reserve" Sonoma/Napa Counties Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously 270)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
In contrast, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is an equal part blend of Napa and Sonoma fruit. There is no doubting the Cabernet Sauvignon in this wine! Classic notes of cedarwood, underbrush, licorice, black currants and tobacco leaf are textbook definitions of this varietal. The color is even denser than the Reserve Claret's, and the bouquet offers additional notes of Chinese black tea. Elegant with great acid as well as stunning concentration, richness and a full-bodied mouthfeel, this is another world-class effort that pushes the envelope toward perfection. It is a remarkable success for the vintage, partly due to the fact that the extremes of weather experienced on the valley floor were less problematic for these high altitude sites. (RP)
*Cellar Selection* What a wine. Take one of those hugely gooey, famous winemaker Napa Cabs, the kind that melt on your palate like butter on toast or chocolate in a microwave, and add fierce mountain tannins, and this is what you get. A humongous, dry, important Cab, one that desperately needs cellaring. Ten years should do it; 20 might be better. The spicy blackberry and cherry fruit isn’t going anywhere.
Aging very well, this is rich and well-built, centered on dark berry flavors and cigar box and cedar notes. Ends with a mix of black licorice and loamy earth. The tannins are firm on the finish. (Web-2013)
*Two Stars* Loaded with crème brûlée and caramel notes right off the bat, the nose of this compelling effort keeps sweet black cherry fruit in clear focus, and that combination of elements is both outgoing in volume and precociously inviting. Full in feel without the least resort towards heaviness, the wine tastes of mouthfilling, lengthy richness layered over intense yet youthful fruit. Time is clearly on its side, and while the wine has plenty of well-muscled fruit today, it is a lead-pipe cinch to age gracefully with cellaring.
Bright, dark ruby-red. Classic Cabernet aromas of cassis, graphite, bitter chocolate and camphor, along with nutty oak and a suggestion of superripeness. Plush, glyceral and smooth, offering slightly jammy flavors of black cherry, plum, currant, chocolate and spices. Can't match the 2002 for lift but this rather exotic wine is dark and deep. Finishes with substantial tongue-dusting tannins and a lingering note of black cherry. Seems relatively high in volatile acidity but then Steve Pride noted that VA levels for this bottling are nearly always in the 0.8-0.9 grams-per-liter range. (ST)
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.
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.