Close to perfection is the 2013 Reserve Claret, a blend of 62% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot, aged 22 months in 20% new French oak. There are 450 cases of this big boy (14.8% alcohol). This is a 30-year wine and a spectacular effort, with 14% coming from the Napa side of the property and 86% from the Sonoma County side. Dense opaque purple, with a glorious nose of chocolate, and espresso intermixed with mulberry fruit, blueberry and blackberry, it is fleshy, succulent, full-bodied, opulent and impressively structured. In fact, the 2013 tannic profile is alive in this wine, and thus I suggest 3-5 years of bottle age. Drink it over the following three decades.
A highlight among these current releases, the 2013 Reserve Claret is also one of the most explosive wines in the range. As such, it is likely to require at least a few years of cellaring. Cedar, red stone fruit, smoke and tobacco give the 2013 its distinctly savory personality. There is plenty of depth and intensity in the glass, but the 2013 needs time to shed some of its ferocious mountain tannin.
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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