2006 Pride Mountain "Vintner's Select" Sonoma County Merlot
This lovely wine may well be the fruitiest of the Pride offerings, but it is far from simple and its very deep ripe-cherry flavors and smells are filled out by complementary oak and accented with a light dash of herbs. Very rich, very full and at the same time very polished as well, it is supple without being soft and sports a fine line of fruit through the length of its insistently flavorful finish. Like most good Merlots, it will tempt early drinking, but it will only get better with age.
There’s no Merlot in California that’s richer or more decadent than this. The flavors of cherry pie filling, cassis, red currants, chocolate, licorice and smoky oak are totally delicious. Granted, the wine is a little soft, with a melted texture, and classicists will complain it’s made in the International style. They’re missing out on a real hedonistic pleasure.
This is that rare California Merlot that's both opulent and intensely structured. Bold aromas of ripe red currant and toasty mocha lead to flavors that wrap luscious black cherry, spice and coffee bean notes around a concentrated and complex core. A kick of tannins sneaks in on the finish.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Merlot Vintner's Select offers up aromas and flavors of mocha, chocolate, berry fruit, smoke, and herbs, a full-bodied richness, a deep, plush mouthfeel, and a long, heady finish. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright medium ruby. Expressive aromas of red raspberry and caramel. Suave and juicy on entry, then sweet and inviting in the middle, with a lush texture and sexy raspberry and spice flavors. Very attractive, ripe Merlot with plenty of well-buffered tannins for aging. "Our most expressive Merlot," notes Steve Pride, "and always ripe due to a southern exposure." These vines are planted on rocky clay-and-sand soil. (ST)