2010 Pride Mountain "Vintner's Select Cuvée" Sonoma County Merlot

SKU #1331355 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Fashioned from 100% Merlot, the 2010 Merlot Vintner’s Select was aged 20 months in 40% new French oak. It reveals a big, sweet nose of chocolate, espresso bean, black currants and black cherries intermixed with toasty oak and forest floor. This lusty, rich, fruity, plush, full-bodied Merlot reveals some hefty weight and power (15.2% alcohol), but delivers plenty of character and quality. Enjoy it over the next decade. (RP)  (10/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (15.2% alcohol; all Merlot, selected from the estate's best barrels): Dark ruby-red, more saturated than the basic Napa/Sonoma bottling. Blue fruits, brown spices and camphor on the nose, with faint suggestions of exotic oak and nutty overripeness. Then big, plush and broad on the palate, with captivating sweetness and considerable power to its flavors of redcurrant, graphite and herbs. This will need time to absorb its alcohol but is loaded with supporting fruit. (ST)  (5/2013)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Those who summarily turn their backs on bottles whose labels indicate alcohol in 15% range will miss out on good thing, and, if the wine makes no attempt to hide its ample ripeness, it is deep in very well-focused fruit and decked out with lovely oak. It is surprisingly vital and lithe for the big wine that it is, and its varietal credentials are never in doubt. It tannins and heat do conspire to roughen its finish, but we fully expect that another half-dozen more years of patient cellaring is bound to set most everything right. *One Star*  (11/2013)

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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).