1999 Pride Mountain Napa/Sonoma Counties Merlot

SKU #995656 91-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby to the rim. Explosive aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, violet and bitter chocolate. Great sappy sweetness in the mouth: flavors of crushed and crystallized dark berries. Very long, powerful finish features strong but lush tannins. An uncanny combination of sweetness and structure.  (6/2001)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 ***Editors' Choice*** What power and drama have gone into this wonderful wine. Sheer Pomerol, with pencil shaving, black cherry, cedar, chocolate and gamy-meaty aromas and flavors, tinged with violets, and the most voluptuous mouthfeel. Sheer hedonism right through the long sweet finish.  (6/2002)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 61% Napa County; 39% Sonoma County. 7% Cab. Sauvignon. We have long been admirers of the special richness shown by the best of Pride Mountain's red wines, and this year's Merlot hits all the right marks with its opulent display of concentrated fruit and creamy oak. Ripe, but never heavy, and wonderfully well-balanced from front to back, the wine is smooth and very supple on the palate with neatly integrated tannins lending just a touch of finishing grip. Its best may lie a few years down the road, and aging is enthusiastically recommended, but there are pleasures aplenty to be had even now for those whose patience is of the more limited sort.  (9/2001)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1999 Merlot (a blend of 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, 61% from Napa and 39% from Sonoma) is a wine of striking purity, balance, density, and intensity. A saturated ruby/purple color is accompanied by great fruit, medium to full body, and perfectly assimilated wood, acidity, tannin, and alcohol. Several more years of cellaring will result in even more joy. (RP)  (6/2002)

90 points Wine Spectator

 A rich, sensual, complex and concentrated wine, with layers of brown sugar, mocha, red currant and spicy herbal notes, it gains momentum and richness on the finish. (JL)  (9/2001)

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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:

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.