Pride Mountain Reserve Claret 2005 (750ml)
DescriptionOur goal is to make intensely flavored wines that reflect and honor our unique growing situation at 2100’ elevation. Our vineyards mainly face south and are above the fog layer which results in vines bathed in sunshine from morning to evening throughout the growing season. Our morning low temperatures are much higher than in the surrounding valleys while our afternoon high temperatures are much lower. Due to this, our vines are physiologically active for most of each 24-hour period during the ripening season even if the grapes do not ripen faster than in the valleys due to our cooler afternoon temperatures. These distinct growing conditions result in big red wines that are on the black-fruit side of the ripeness spectrum but that nonetheless are loaded with varietal character and a nice amount of acidity on the finish. The viognier and chardonnay have mid-palate richness due to all of our sunshine but are able to maintain acidity and excitement on the finish. Our whites are distinguished by having a strong flavor intensity while simultaneously remaining fresh and lively in the mouth. This winery, sitting high atop Spring Mountain traversing both the Napa and Sonoma counties, has offered their two top cuvées in 2005 for this retrospective. The 2005 Proprietary Red Reserve Claret, sourced from both Napa and Sonoma, is a blend of 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon. It offers a moonless, black-of-night color and notes of black truffle and burning embers, whiffs of charcoal, blackberry and cassis, and touches of chocolate and coffee. This stunningly complex, opulent, full-bodied wine seems to have approached its peak of maturity, where it should easily rest for another decade or more. With perfect concentration and a skyscraper-like palate feel with no heaviness, this wine (14.8% natural alcohol) is simply compelling in all senses. It is a fabulous effort and a great tribute to Napa/Sonoma viticulture.