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2001 Vintner Select Merlot

Fans of soft, light Merlots, read no further.

Truly reflecting the best of our best, each year our Vintner’s Select Merlot allows us to showcase our finest single lot of Merlot. The decision is not an easy one – our unique position at the top of Spring Mountain allows us to produce an exceptional spectrum of wines year after year after year. In 2001, as in the 1999 Vintner’s Select Merlot (94+ points from Robert Parker), this extraordinary lot comes from our Mountain Top Vineyard.

Rich, dark and luscious, with effusive ripe blackberry, currant and cassis aromas that grab you by the nose and pull you deep into the glass, this is clearly a big Cabernet drinker’s Merlot. 100% varietal, this wine has massive structure and a profound level of extract. Sweet fruit and amply chewy tannins waltz languidly across the palate with flavors of chocolate and espresso, coating the entire palate and resolving in a finish that goes on and on.

Appellation: Sonoma County
Vintage: 2001
Harvest: October 2001
Fermentation: Alcholic & Malolactic in Stainless Steel Tanks
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 14.1%
Bottling: September 2003
Production: 392 cases cases
Release Date: November 2003
Price:
SOLD OUT

Reviews

  • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: May/June 2004, Issue 114
    Rating: 94

    Bright, saturated ruby-red. Sappy, super ripe but more brooding aromas of black cherry liqueur, black raspberry and dark chocolate. Denser and more minerally than the regular merlot, with a very different, finer-grained texture rare for North Coast merlot. Very young but already pliant. Finishes with superb brooding dark fruit flavors that really stain the palate. This is from stony, clay rich soil that produces fruit with more extract and acidity and a deeper color, notes Foley, who adds that some of this fruit goes into Pride's reserve claret. A superb California merlot.

  • California Grapevine: February/March 2004
    Rating: 91

    Medium to medium-dark ruby color; attractive, intense, smoky, plummy, ripe black cherry fruit aroma with notes of dill, rhubarb, cola, and charred oak; full-body; big, dense, concentrated, cedary, tarrish, ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with a note of coffee bean and overtones of creamy oak; well structured with good depth of fruit; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Deserves several more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended. 14.1% alcohol; 392 cases; 100% Merlot; released November 2003.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 23, 2003
    Rating: 97

    The amazing limited 300 case cuvee of 100% Merlot is a candidate for the finest Merlot-based wine I have ever tasted from northern California. As I tasted this wine with Bob Foley, I could not help asking myself, "how in the hell does he get Merlot to be this great!". This knock-out effort's notes of mocha, chocolate, black cherry liqueur formed into an amazingly concentrated, rich yet elegant wine with no hard edges. This seamless classic is worth twisting a few arms to get a bottle or two. It's that spectacular…and I'm not a fan of New World Merlot! Drink it over the next 12-15 years.