2011 Pride Mountain "Vintner's Select Cuvée" Sonoma County Merlot

SKU #1331354 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Merlot Vintner’s Select is 100% Merlot aged 20 months in 40% new French oak. A smaller cuvée of 418 cases, it reveals plenty of chocolaty, dense black cherry and plum-like fruit intermixed with hints of Asian spice, earth and tobacco leaf. This plump, chewy, sensual 2011 is best drunk over the next 7-8 years. (RP)  (10/2014)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 From a classic producer who continues to do the variety justice, this Merlot is complex and concentrated. A taste of bright red plum and berry fruit intermingles with toasty oak and supple vanilla. The tannins are soft and a playful hint of herb marks the finish. (VB)  (12/2014)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (100% new oak; a barrel selection; 100% Merlot): Bright red-ruby. Rather exotic nose combines scents of raspberry, cherry, rose petal, mint leaf, spices, leather and mocha. Supple, spicy and subdued in the mouth, with good texture and restrained sweetness to the red berry and spice flavors. Finishes with slightly edgy herbal tannins that call for a year or two of additional cellaring. (ST)  (5/2014)

Wine Spectator

 Focused and tightly wound, showing aromas of black currant, cedar and cocoa, with muscular, compact flavors of plum, mineral and herb. Hands off for now. Best from 2016 through 2021. (TF)  (10/2014)

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Additional Information:

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.
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.
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).