2003 Pride Mountain "Reserve" Sonoma-Napa Counties Claret

SKU #1021984 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2003 Reserve Claret is a blend of 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon that achieved 14.4% alcohol. An exquisite candidate for wine of the vintage, it comes from a vineyard high on the summit of Spring Mountain. Eighty-three percent of the fruit comes from Sonoma and the rest from Napa County as the vineyard sits astride the county lines. Its dark plum/garnet color reveals a slight lightening at the edge. A beautiful nose of cedarwood, forest floor, red and black currants, kirsch and plum is followed by a full-bodied wine with great freshness, a rich, textured mouthfeel and sensational concentration with no heaviness. This is an uplifting, quintessential mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that outperforms the vintage. Just entering its plateau of full maturity, it can be drunk now and over the next decade. (RP)  (6/2013)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editor's Choice* If you’re lucky enough to try this with Pride’s reserve Cab, which is 100% varietal, you’ll find this one fleshier and meatier. Based on Merlot, it shows a voluptuous fatness, a chocolate-covered cherry candy immediacy, that makes it drinkable now. At the same time, it has big, dusty, mouth-coating tannins. Drink now, with decanting, or cellar for 10 years.  (3/2007)

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Two Stars* Enormously fruity and unstinting in its use of lavish oak, this dense, deeply constituted wine is simply bursting with Merlot's juicy, cherry-like qualities while showing Cabernet influence in its slightly tough structure. There is no getting around the fact that it fails to fully hide all of its heat, but its stunning impressions of richness and range and its essential balance more than make up for its youthful lack of refinement. It is a successful and genuinely exciting wine with a long-term future ahead of it.  (11/2006)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep red-ruby. Superripe aromas of plum, currant, mocha, lead pencil and chocolate; this reminded me of a head-spinning old vintage of Chateau Lafleur. Supersweet and downright liqueur-like, with near-confectionery flavors of plum and nutty oak. Wonderfully lush, seamless wine. Not particularly primary but the wine's boatload of sweet tannins and superb persistence suggest it will provide at least six to eight years of pleasure. (ST)  (5/2007)

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.4