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2006 Vintner Select Merlot

We have selected our most luscious and concentrated barrels for this single vineyard wine. 100% Clone 3 grapes from our Lower Mountain Top block present tons of gooey red fruit flavor, ranging from strawberry jam to red raspberry, currant and kirsch. The showy fruit tones are interwoven with dark spice flavors of coffee liqueur and licorice, while the mid-palate possesses a lingering silkiness that soothes the senses. In the finish, the wine is all finesse, with fully ripe tannins that contribute a subtle nuttiness and structure.

Appellation: Sonoma County
Vintage: 2006
Harvest: October 2006
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 15.2%
Bottling: July 2008
Production: 496 cases
Release Date: November 2008
Price: $75.00
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Reviews

  • Connoisseurs Guide: March 2009
    Rating: 94

    This lovely wine may well be the fruitiest of the Pride offerings, but it is far from simple and its very deep ripe cherry flavors and smells are filled out by complementary oak and accented with a light dash of herbs. Very rich, very full and at the same time very polished as well, it is supple without being soft and sports a fine line of fruit through the length of its insistently flavorful finish. Like most good Merlots, it will tempt early drinking, but it will only get better with age.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 2008 Issue 180
    Rating: 90

    The outstanding 500-case cuvee of 2006 Merlot Vintner’s Select boasts a dense ruby/purple color as well as beautiful aromatics of sweet black cherries, espresso, white chocolate, and dark fruits. Dense and medium to full-bodied with silky tannins and a round, elegant mouthfeel as well as finish, it can be enjoyed over the next 7-8 years.

  • Wine Spectator: May 31, 2009
    Rating: 93

    This is that rare California Merlot that's both opulent and intensely structured. Bold aromas of ripe red currant and toasty mocha lead to flavors that wrap luscious black cherry, spice and coffee bean notes around a concentrated and complex core. A kick of tannins sneaks in on the finish. Drink now through 2015. 496 cases made. –TF

  • California Grapevine: April/May 2009
    Rating: 90

    Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, herbal, spicy, dark berry fruit aroma with a note of green pepper; full body; forward, rich, textured, concentrated, dark berry fruit flavors with good depth and a full, rounded mouthfeel; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended.

  • Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar: May/June 2009, Issue 144
    Rating: 91

    Bright medium ruby. Expressive aromas of red raspberry and caramel. Suave and juicy on entry, then sweet and inviting in the middle, with a lush texture and sexy raspberry and spice flavors. Very attractive, ripe merlot with plenty of well-buffered tannins for aging. "Our most expressive merlot," notes Steve Pride, "and always ripe due to southern exposure." These vines are planted on rocky clay and sand soil.

  • Wine Enthusiast: July 2009
    Rating: 94

    There’s no Merlot in California that’s richer or more decadent than this. The flavors of cherry pie filling, cassis, red currants, chocolate, licorice and smoky oak are totally delicious. Granted, the wine is a little soft, with a melted texture, and classicists will complain it’s made in the International style. They’re missing out on a real hedonistic pleasure.

  • Alan Duran’s Periodic Review of Bordeaux: Volume 14
    Rating: 96

    This is a fabulously perfumed, complex, and opulent Merlot! The color exhibits a dense plum-ruby and leads to aromas of seared mulberry juices, crushed stone/graphite dust, blueberry, and fragrant blue flowers. A sumptuously broad, full-bodied, powerfully driven, authoritative, layered offering with rich mulberry/cassis fruit. Its finessed personality makes this an incredible wine to drink. It will certainly require a decade of cellaring to come around, but what lurks underneath its tannin is a melted concoction of pure, well concealed, intricate length of fruit. Be patient, its personality is robust and potent. This is remarkable wine! Maturity period 2013-2028+.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 2009, Issue 186
    Rating: 92

    The 2006 Merlot Vintner’s Select offers up aromas and flavors of mocha, chocolate, berry fruit, smoke, and herbs, a full-bodied richness, a deep, plush mouthfeel, and a long, heady finish.