2012 Pride Mountain "Vintner's Select Cuvée" Sonoma County Merlot

SKU #1253171 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Merlot Vintner’s Select is 100% Merlot from the Sonoma side of their vineyards, aged in 40% new French oak for 20 months. This smaller cuvée of just over 500 cases displays lots of chocolate and espresso notes, plenty of glycerin, and touches of background oak, spice box, blackberry and black cherry jam. It is ripe, dense, delicious, and ideal for drinking over the next 8-10 years. (RP)  (10/2015)

93 points Vinous

 The 2012 Merlot Vintner Select is deep, inky and explosive, with plenty of varietal character and richness. Ripeness is pushed to the edge, which actually works well with Merlot, although some tasters might notice a slightly oxidative note that peeks through on the finish. The 2012 could use further time in bottle to drop some baby fat, but it is impressive, even today. Succulent dark cherries, raspberry jam, cloves, mint and new leather linger on the close. (AG)  (10/2015)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 A 100% varietal wine, grown in an area called the Lower Mountaintop, this offers a compelling candied cherry and raspberry element, supported by complex accents of vanilla and cured meat. With plenty of body to stay fresh and vibrant on the palate, it never gets bogged down, finishing in richer components of dark chocolate and oak. (VB)  (9/2015)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Features power and finesse, with aromas of fresh red currant and dusty mocha leading to flavors that are dense midpalate yet wrapped in supple notes of cherry, bay leaf and spicy loam. (TF)  (10/2015)

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Price: $74.99
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- 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.

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.


- 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).