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2010 Vintner Select Merlot

Always an attention-getter, our Vintner Select Merlot is aromatic to the nth degree. Heady notes of strawberry, kirsch and berry are balanced by subtle hints of hazelnut and cocoa in a classic expression of mountaintop merlot. The wine is supple and round, with a lovely acidity and gobs of fruit intensity. Made from 100% Clone 3 merlot, the wine was aged in French oak, 40% new, for eighteen months before being bottled in July 2012. 

Appellation: Sonoma County
Vintage: 2010
Harvest: October 2010
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 15.2%
Bottling: July 2012
Production: 485 cases
Release Date: January 2013
Price: $75.00
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Reviews

  • Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine: November 2013 online
    Rating: 90

    Those who summarily turn their backs on bottles whose labels indicate alcohol in 15% range will miss out on good thing, and, if the wine makes no attempt to hide its ample ripeness, it is deep in very well-focused fruit and decked out with lovely oak. It is surprisingly vital and lithe for the big wine that it is, and its varietal credentials are never in doubt. It tannins and heat do conspire to roughen its finish, but we fully expect that another half-dozen more years of patient cellaring is bound to set most everything right.

  • The Wine Advocate: October 2013
    Rating: 94

    Fashioned from 100% Merlot, the 2010 Merlot Vintner’s Select was aged 20 months in 40% new French oak. It reveals a big, sweet nose of chocolate, espresso bean, black currants and black cherries intermixed with toasty oak and forest floor. This lusty, rich, fruity, plush, full-bodied Merlot reveals some hefty weight and power (15.2% alcohol), but delivers plenty of character and quality. Enjoy it over the next decade. As always, this winery situated at the crest of Spring Mountain on both sides of the Napa/Sonoma counties boundary, has turned out a portfolio of interesting as well as satisfying wines. Amazingly, Pride Mountain Vineyards now owns over 85 acres at high elevation sites spread over the top of Spring Mountain. Pride Mountain’s two flagship offerings are much more limited in availability, with only 569 cases of the 2010 Claret Reserve and 1,365 cases of the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

  • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: May/June 2013 #168
    Rating: 92

    ($75) (15.2% alcohol; all merlot, selected from the estate's best barrels): Dark ruby-red, more saturated than the basic Napa/Sonoma bottling. Blue fruits, brown spices and camphor on the nose, with faint suggestions of exotic oak and nutty overripeness. Then big, plush and broad on the palate, with captivating sweetness and considerable power to its flavors of redcurrant, graphite and herbs. This will need time to absorb its alcohol but is loaded with supporting fruit.