1997 Pride Mountain "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
While only microscopic quantities were produced of this wine, It is an immense wine of extraordinary concentration and depth. Amazing, the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve pushes richness to unreal levels. Despite its intense, full-bodied, ultra-concentrated style, it possesses a sense of balance and definition. The color is a saturated inky purple. The aromatics consist of lead pencil shavings, minerals, blackberries, cassis, and flowers. Extremely full-bodied, with amazing purity, mouth-coating richness, sweet tannin, and low acidity, it offers profound drinking even though it has not yet begun to develop secondary nuances. (RP)
Bright ruby-red. Highly aromatic nose combines briary blueberry and cassis, leather, tar, coffee and resiny oak, along with a faint pruney quality. Then high-pitched and sappy in the mouth, showing a powerful spine to its superconcentrated flavors of black cherry, cassis, game and flowers. The serious, firm tannins arrive late, allowing the wine's finishing perfume to build in the mouth. Steve Pride noted that this hot-year wine "was definitely pruney and stewy at the beginning," but this bottle was still full of life. Incidentally, most of the inventory of the '97 was lost in a fire in June of 2000 at the Frank-Rombauer facility (formerly Kornell Cellars) in Calistoga. (ST)
Dense and chewy. A rich, dark wine, packed with loads of plum, currant and black cherry. Turns spicy and cedary.
*Two Stars* We confess to mixed feelings here for, while the wine leads with a lovely nose of deep, impressively concentrated fruit, it proves to be surprisingly tight and still bound up by toughening tannins once in the mouth. It demands further patience, and it needs a good many more years in the cellar, but its extracted fruit encourages hopes that polish will come some. The combination of its mountain-top fruit and an exceptional vintage have here produced a wine with the potential for unusual longevity.