1998 Pride Mountain "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #993079 95 points 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)  (6/2002)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *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.  (2/2012)

90 points Vinous

 (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)  (6/2015)

Wine Spectator

 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)

K&L Notes

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.

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
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:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1