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