Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2017 (Napa Valley, California) - [WA 93] [VM 90] [JD 90]

Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2017
(Napa Valley, California) - [WA 93] [VM 90] [JD 90]


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About the Winery:

Nestled in the Mayacamas Mountains between St. Helena and Santa Rosa, the picturesque 235 acre estate of Pride Mountain Vineyards sprawls across Spring Mountain at roughly 2,100 feet, six miles up a winding, narrow road above St. Helena.  The winery 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. Their first wine was produced in 1991.

Notes from the Winemaker:
A seamless Merlot packed full of dense flavor including black cherry, plum, milk chocolate, wild strawberry, and toasted almond. This wine is all about balanced intensity, with fruit and texture galore to mirror its firm but velvety mountain tannins.

The 2017 growing season was generally mild until early-September when a heatwave pushed the mercury up to near 105° F for several days. This gave our vines a jump-start and allowed us to harvest our eight merlot blocks between September 7th and October 7th. After an average of 20 days on the skins, the wine lots were gently pressed and racked to French oak barrels, 40% new, for a total of 14 months. Our 100% merlot base blend was assembled after the first 10 months in barrel, while the finishing touch of 4% cabernet sauvignon was added the following spring.

Fermentation:
Stainless Steel
Cooperage:
French Oak
Varietal Composition: 96% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol:
14.4%

Ratings & Reviews

93 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"Containing 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Merlot offers up pronounced notes of plum preserves, baked blackberries and black forest cake with suggestions of baking spices, licorice and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, rich and velvety textured, the palate is laden with dark fruit and spice layers, beautifully defined by a refreshing line, finishing with great persistence. 4,404 cases produced." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Oct 2019)

90 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2017 Merlot shows all the natural richness and intensity of the year, but also has just enough freshness to keep things in check. Cedar, tobacco, dried flower and spice notes add nuance to a Merlot that very nicely balances richness with savory complexity. This is very nicely done, especially for the year. " - Antonio Galloni (Jan 2020)

90 Points - Jeb Dunnuck:
"The 2017 Merlot is a juicy, easy-drinking effort that does well in the vintage. Ripe black cherries, mulberries, white flowers, and a touch of damp earth emerges from this Pomerol look-alike. It's medium-bodied and has sweet tannins and a balanced, already delicious style. Drink it over the coming decade." (1/31/2020)