1998 Pride Mountain "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The opaque purple-colored 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is extraordinarily full-bodied and powerful, with unbelievable finesse and harmony for a wine of such great extract and richness. Pure creme de cassis intermixed with licorice, minerals, smoke, and incense is accompanied by sweet tannin, well-integrated acidity, wood, and alcohol, and a stupendous finish lasting nearly 45 seconds. The wine is approachable, but should age easily for two decades. The limited production Reserve cuvee (450 cases) is an expression of California winemaking at its most compelling. (RP)
*Two Stars* Dark in color, optimally ripened and long on richness with no hint of excess, this bottling is beginning to show a touch of softening and displays a bit of aged complexity as well. That said, it is still nicely balanced with a slightly tannic grip that prescribes further keeping, and, while quite tasty now, it is a wine that will confidently keep for another ten years. It is a good reflection of a vintage that has shown far better than initial projections by those who rate vintages rather than wines.
(14.1% alcohol; includes 3% Petit Verdot): Good dark red. Highly expressive aromas of dark berries, truffle, meat, white pepper and exotic spices. Distinctly drier than the 1997 but with pungent acidity intensifying the flavors of black cherry, herbs, resin and peppery spices. The palate doesn't quite deliver what the nose promises but there's no shortage of personality here, especially for a wine from a difficult vintage. The tannins seem resolved but still retain a distinct firmness. This reminded me of a cross between a Bordeaux and a northern Rhône wine. According to Steve Pride, the estate's Cabernet was picked into the second week of December! (ST)
Mature, with complex dried currant, new leather, sage and black licorice flavors that are complex. Turns tannic and simpler midpalate, but very enjoyable. (JL, Web-2009)
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.