The 2003 Reserve Claret is a blend of 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon that achieved 14.4% alcohol. An exquisite candidate for wine of the vintage, it comes from a vineyard high on the summit of Spring Mountain. Eighty-three percent of the fruit comes from Sonoma and the rest from Napa County as the vineyard sits astride the county lines. Its dark plum/garnet color reveals a slight lightening at the edge. A beautiful nose of cedarwood, forest floor, red and black currants, kirsch and plum is followed by a full-bodied wine with great freshness, a rich, textured mouthfeel and sensational concentration with no heaviness. This is an uplifting, quintessential mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that outperforms the vintage. Just entering its plateau of full maturity, it can be drunk now and over the next decade.
If you're lucky enough to try this with Pride's reserve Cab, which is 100% varietal, you'll find this one fleshier and meatier. Based on Merlot, it shows a voluptuous fatness, a chocolate-covered cherry candy immediacy, that makes it drinkable now. At the same time, it has big, dusty, mouth-coating tannins. Editors' Choice.
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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