2005 Pride Mountain "Reserve" Sonoma-Napa Counties Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Almost as impressive is the 2005 Cabernet Reserve, a blend of 95.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4.5 % Petit Verdot, in this case sourced 58% from Sonoma County and 42% from Napa. Its 14.5% alcohol is slightly lower than its sibling’s. This full-bodied wine is very concentrated, with a saturated bluish/purple color and a classic nose of mocha and espresso intermixed with crème de cassis and charcoal. The finish is a good 40-45 seconds, and the wine has a remarkable vibrancy and freshness from the vintage’s acidity. This is terrific stuff to drink now and over the next 12-15 years. 96+ (RP)
(14.5% alcohol; includes 4.5% Petit Verdot): Saturated medium ruby. Knockout nose combines cassis, kirsch, licorice, menthol and pepper. Superconcentrated and fine-grained, conveying superb spicy lift to the classic mountain berry, spice and tobacco flavors. This dense, sappy wine shows a complex and complementary herbal element in a distinctly claret-like way. Really dances on the palate and rises on the powerful, savory aftertaste. Still very young. A splendid example of this wine from a below-average crop level due to rain during the flowering that arrived after most valley floor vines had already set their crop. (ST)
*Cellar Selection* This is the densest, most tannic of Pride’s new releases, obviously meant for the cellar. You could drink it now, because it’s so lush, but the tightness suggests that the winemaker doesn’t want you to. Buried under the astringency are masses of cassis, dark chocolate, sweet fresh herbs and smoky oak.
Dense and youthful, brimming with blackberry, currant, wild berry, cedar, tobacco leaf and dried herb notes, joined by the scent of dill-laced oak. Finishes with a persistent aftertaste, echoing dark berry and licorice details. Gripping tannins. (JL, Web-2015)
*Two Stars* Very solid, very sturdy and lacking in refinement just now, the very full-bodied 2005 is not at all wanting for sheer richness and mass. It tilts to ripeness without going too far, and it is kept on course by its plentiful fruit. Its astringency is unyielding and will dissuade drinking in even the mid-term, and, it too, joins those that promise to develop famously for ten more years at a minimum.
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 and Napa county lines 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.