The Merlot-based 2009 Claret Reserve is gorgeous. Juicy dark cherries, tobacco, smoke and cloves jump out of the glass. The Merlot gives the wine much of its suppleness, while the Cabernet adds the structure and pure mountain tannin. Even with all of its richness, the 2009 remains light on its feet for such a big wine. The 2009 boasts striking balance and tons of harmony. The blend is two-thirds Merlot and one-third Cabernet Sauvignon. Naturally, the Claret doesn't have the personality of the estate's variety wines, but it is compelling just the same. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.
63% Merlot; 37% Cabernet Sauvignon. It may be principally comprised of Merlot, and it is, in fact, very long on outgoing, optimally ripened fruit, but this fleshy, full-bodied wine is structured more along sturdy Cabernt lines and is one whose best clearly lies years ahead. Its showy beginnings and obvious richness are reasons enough to believe in its future, but only with time will its tannic toughness abate and all of its many pieces coalesce.
Nestled in the Mayacamas Mountains between St. Helena and Santa Rosa, the picturesque 235 acre estate of Pride Mountain Vineyards produces unique wines in contrast to those made in the neighboring valleys. The vineyards are set above the fog line, which enables the grapes to be exposed to California's hot sun from dawn to dusk. As a result, the flavors of these wines tend to be rich with ripe black fruits, "balance, nuance, and complexity." They are made to be approachable at a young age with the capability to age beneficially for 10-15 years. Cheers to Pride Mountain wines!
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