2005 Pride Mountain "Reserve" Sonoma/Napa Counties Claret
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This winery, sitting high atop Spring Mountain traversing both the Napa and Sonoma counties, has offered their two top cuvées in 2005 for this retrospective. The 2005 Proprietary Red Reserve Claret, sourced from both Napa and Sonoma, is a blend of 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon. It offers a moonless, black-of-night color and notes of black truffle and burning embers, whiffs of charcoal, blackberry and cassis, and touches of chocolate and coffee. This stunningly complex, opulent, full-bodied wine seems to have approached its peak of maturity, where it should easily rest for another decade or more. With perfect concentration and a skyscraper-like palate feel with no heaviness, this wine (14.8% natural alcohol) is simply compelling in all senses. It is a fabulous effort and a great tribute to Napa/Sonoma viticulture. (RP)
*Three Stars* Among the richest and most outgoing wines in this issue, Pride's Reserve Claret is a fully extravagant wine that trades equally on deep fruit, ripeness and a wealth of lavish oak spice, but it never crosses over the line of being too much. Its tantalizing plumpness and succulent Merlot properties are offset just now by a bit of Cabernet toughness that prescribes a bit of patience, and make no mistake about it, this compelling effort is certainly bound for better, and it will continue to unfold for six to twelve years and last longer.
This Bordeaux blend is enormously rich and densely concentrated in mountain fruitiness. It explodes with blackberry, black currant, chocolate, orange zest, roasted almond and sweet new oak flavors, wrapped into extraordinarily fine tannins. Shows a bit of sharpness that could indicate a mild level of volatility. But it’s a dramatic wine that should live for many, many years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good medium ruby. Complex nose melds raspberry, tobacco, caramel and loam. Sweet but youthfully tight, with very good lift to the flavors of raspberry, graphite, cumin and turmeric. Plenty of cabernet structure here. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins. "Our biggest and most intense mountain-style wine," notes Steve Pride, adding that this wine was unapproachable early on. (ST)
A seductive style, offering complex layers of mocha and cedary oak alongside ripe, intense currant and wild berry fruit that's tight, focused, full-bodied and persistent on the finish. (JL)
Situated high up at the top of Spring Mountain, Pride Mountain Vineyards 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.