1996 Reserve Claret
This is another great Reserve Claret from the top of the mountain. This classic blend of 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petite Verdot offers an incredibly overt aromatic display of ripe blackberry, wild violet, cedar and camphor. On the palate, chocolate nuances evolve from a sweet round middle. Ripe berry flavors linger for minutes on end and marry in an astounding finish. Tannins are ample, yet soft and approachable. This ’96 Claret takes us to a new level for this class of blend and represents what a true reserve wine should be.
|Cooperage:||Select French Oak|
32% Cabernet Sauvignon
5% Petite Verdot
|Release Date:||September 1998|
International Wine Cellar: May/June 1999 Page 53
Full ruby color. Sexy oak complements cassis, graphite and smoke aromas. Tightly wrapped on the palate, but clearly more intensely flavored than the last sample. Lovely minerally inner-mouth perfume. Big but unevolved. Finishes quite strong, with firm tannins supported by sheer material. Impressive wine
The Wine Advocate: August 24, 1999 Issue 24, Page 43/44
Nearly as spectacular as the 1996 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is the 1996 Reserve Claret. A blend of 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petite Verdot (230 cases), it is a gorgeously balanced, super-concentrated yet hauntingly symmetrical wine with copious quantities of black fruits, spicy new oak, minerals, licorice, and roasted herbs. Full-bodied, with a cherry liqueur-like richness to its fruit, this wine has loads of glycerin, fabulous extract, and no hard edges. The velvety finish lasts for 40+ seconds. These are spectacular wines that must be tasted to be believed.
Connoisseurs' Guide: December 1999 Page 34
Despite its limited bottling status, this deep and long-aging bottling from Pride Mountain certainly should not be overlooked on your up-coming wine-buying forays. It is deep yet still closed-in with tight, oaky, black cherry and dried currant aromas and, while somewhat more open at the front of the palate, its compact, oak-enriched flavors firm up and run into a noticeable bit of latter palate tannin. Five to eight years in bottle will see this sturdy but stunning wine achieving its substantial promise.