2004 Pride Mountain "Mountain Top Vineyard Vintner Select Cuvée" Sonoma County Merlot

SKU #1054120 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated, deep ruby-red. Aromas of smoky redcurrant, graphite and nutty oak, with a suggestion of chocolate liqueur. Lush on entry, then concentrated, sweet and silky-smooth, with rich, slightly high-toned flavors of plum, smoke and graphite. This has lovely sweetness and lift and finishes very long, with big, rich tannins. A major mouthful of mountain Merlot. (ST)  (6/2007)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Pride's regular '04 Merlot was very good. This one's better. Intensely rich and concentrated in the way of mountain wines, it shows huge, ripe cherry marmalade, black raspberry pie filling, rum and cola, mocha-choca and Asian spice flavors, enriched by smoky oak. Any really ripe wine can do that, but only one from great coastal vineyards can achieve this balance of acids and tannins. Should develop over the next 10 years.  (3/2007)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Two Stars* Mountain wines often show a little less fat and a little more structural toughness than their valley-floor counterparts, and this sturdy, very deeply filled Merlot does just that. Its succulent smells of cherries, mint, chocolate and toast lead to like-minded but rather astringent flavors that are presently bound up in youthful tannins, yet its tenacious fruit fights on through at the finish and guarantees that a handsome wine will await all those who exercise five or six years of patience.  (11/2006)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Not shy about showing its oak, with plenty of cedar, vanilla bean and spice, yet underneath is a delicious core of currant, blackberry and graphite. Oak returns on the finish, providing a woody mouthfeel, but there's lots of depth and concentration.  (2/2007)

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Price: $59.99

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- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

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.


- 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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).