"Exuberant" is the word that springs to mind when the cork on this wine is pulled. Swirling aromas of plum, raspberry, strawberry, sandalwood and cocoa powder immediately make their mark, followed by a palate bursting with fruit, and a full, round texture that balances density against liveliness through just the right amount of acidity.  The finish is ripe and rich, with a lingering sensation of pleasing silky tannins.  After a few cooler vintages that made delicious but more subdued Merlots, the 2012 is a return to a more expansive mouth-filling style that typifies warm, even growing seasons on our mountaintop.


Appellation: Napa
Vintage: 2012
Harvest: October 2012
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 92% Merlot
8% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.4%
Bottling: April 2014
Production: 5350 cases
Release Date: August 2014
Price: $60.00


  • The Wine Advocate: October 2014
    Rating: 90

    The outstanding 2012 Merlot is composed of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 18 months in 40% new French oak. There are 5,350 cases. It exhibits a classic Merlot bouquet of coffee beans, white chocolate, mocha, black cherries and plums. This lush, heady, sexy, medium to full-bodied Merlot can be consumed over the next 7-8 years.

  • California Grapevine: May 2015, Volume 41
    Rating: 91

    2012 Pride Mountain Vineyards, 51% Napa County and 49% Sonoma County ($60) – Medium to medium-dark ruby; fragrant, spicy, herbal, plummy, red and black fruit aroma with a hint of cocoa and overtones of new oak; full body; forward rich, textured, cedary, cherry and dark berry fruit flavors with good depth and acid balance; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended. 14.4% alcohol; 5,350 cases; blended with 8% CS; released August 2014. (Group Score: 16.3, 2/2/0; My Score: 17 [91/100], second place)