2006 Pride Mountain "Vintner's Select" Sonoma County Merlot

SKU #1215431 94 points Connoisseurs Guide

 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.  (3/2009)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (7/2009)

93 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (3/2009)

92 points 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)  (12/2009)

91 points 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)  (5/2009)

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Varietal:

Merlot

- 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.
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:

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).