2002 Pride Mountain Napa-Sonoma Counties Merlot
Wine & Spirits
Full and delicious, Pride's Merlot achieves a balanced ripeness at the mountaintop border of Napa and Sonoma counties. The wine has density of fruit while it retains a spot-on varietal identity, a flavor of black cherry and rose petal jam. Tannins amplify the richness with a chocolate warmth, evenly meshed with the fruit across the palate.
*Editors' Choice* What a fabulous Merlot. Yes, it’s dense in texture, like molten metal, with melted tannins, but it’s kept lively with clean acids. Meanwhile, the flavors are sheer mountain fruit: concentrated blackberries and cherries and decadent mocha. Complex, elegant and addictively good.
Aromas of cedar, ripe berry fruit and hints of toasty oak offer solid clues as to what comes across on the palate. Intense and well-balanced, the supple blackberry and black cherry flavors pick up a nice dose of creamy mocha and toasty oak on the finish. (JL)
In the typical Pride Mountain fashion, this deep and complete wine combines lots of fancy oak with fruit that has both the succulence of flatland grapes as well as some of the structure that comes from its mountain-top home. It is rich in crème brulée character and mixes the ripe cherry fruit of Merlot with the brightness of fresh cranberries in a friendly, open set of flavors. The wine's depth and latter palate convinces that it can age handsomely as well.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2002 Merlot, which comes from both the Napa and Sonoma sides of the mountain, is elegant, with wonderfully sweet black cherry fruit intermixed with a hint of mocha, white chocolate, and some background sappy wood notes. Its beautiful integration of acidity and tannin make for an elegant, polished, and stunning Merlot to drink over the next decade. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Red-ruby. Aromas of redcurrant, tobacco, milk chocolate and loam. Sweet, complex flavors of redcurrant, tobacco, cedar, smoke and minerals, all brightened by harmonious, ripe acidity that runs through the wine. Finishes with round, sweet tannins and very good length. Merlot with real flavor interest. (ST)