2008 Pride Mountain "Reserve" Sonoma/Napa Counties Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)

SKU #1073214 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 There are times, and this is clearly one of them, when measuring a wine by its label-stated alcohol level is an exercise in self denial. Better that one should measure this one by its gorgeous, focused, deep and balanced character because this is a refined, complex effort with layers and layers of on-point attractions. Its handsome aromas combine notes of ripe cherries with those of raspberries, new leather, hints of cedar and a nice suggestion of rich hardwoods. Admittedly full in body, yet silky in texture and very well-balanced, it hides its inner potency within a polished yet sinewy frame, and like its predecessors from earlier years, will age for a decade and more.  (5/2012)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 ***Cellar Selection*** Abundantly rich in fruit, this Cabernet shows its California origins in the incredibly ripe blackberry, cherry and chocolate flavors. It’s sweet, almost like pie filling, except the finish is thoroughly dry. Thick mountain tannins make for astringency, suggesting ageworthiness.  (7/2012)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a big, powerful wine loaded with fruit. The tannins are equally imposing. Today the wine comes across as painfully young, but the Reserve has a track record of aging beautifully in bottle, so it will be interesting to see where the 2008 goes over the coming years. Sweet mint, new leather and licorice are some of the nuances that add complexity on the focused, articulate finish. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2028. (AG)  (12/2011)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (15.2% alcohol; includes 3% Petit Verdot): Full medium ruby. Ripe brambly blackberry, raspberry, smoked meat and nutty oak aromas complicated by salty and floral nuances. Very concentrated and sweet, with a hint of medicinal reserve and very good framing acidity to the flavors of black cherry, licorice and spices. The compellingly ripe character carries through on the long finish, which features surprisingly sweet, harmonious tannins. Production was tiny in 2008 owing to spring frost. But it was very hot late (Steve Pride views 2008 as a hot vintage on the top of Spring Mountain, along with 2004, 2001 and 1997) and the fruit was picked in waves as the clusters shriveled. The estate began using a gentler destemmer in 2008 that has made it possible to vinify without jacks (i.e., pieces of stem). Doesn't have quite the complexity of the best years here, but this is a strong performance given the weather conditions.  (6/2015)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Intense and at points rustic and chewy, full-bodied and dense, with complex, firm and tannic, giving the dark berry flavors a dry savory edge. Rambles over rough terrain, yet remains complex and alluring. (JL)  (11/2011)

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 (%): 15.2