2002 Vintner Select Merlot

2002 Vintner Select Merlot

“ . . . a candidate for the finest Merlot-based wine I have ever tasted from northern California . . . how in the hell does he (Bob Foley) get Merlot to be this great!”

Robert Parker, writing of Pride Mountain Vineyards 2001 Vintner Select Merlot
The Wine Advocate, December 2003

Of our eight vineyard blocks of Merlot, the cream of the crop in 2002 was again the Mountain Top block. With more stuffing than most Cabernets, these bottles should have a warning label, “Not to be opened by the meek or the mild!” Like the whole body “wow” that comes from bursting a handful of warm, ripe blackberries against the roof of your mouth on a hot summer day, more than a beverage, this 100% varietal wine is a feast for the senses. A hint of cassis, a little cedar, and all that dark fruit are wrapped in a layer of fine dark chocolate and finished with just a hint of espresso. Not for the faint of heart, we do our part once again to dispel the myth that Merlot is for beginners.

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Appellation: Sonoma County
Vintage: 2002
Harvest: October 2002
Fermentation: Alcholic & Malolactic in Stainless Steel Tanks
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 14.6%
Bottling: September 2004
Production: 424 cases
Release Date: December 2004
Release Price: $75.00


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  • Wine Advocate: February 28, 2005 Issue 157 - Rating: 93

    Ratcheting up the level of concentration, complexity, and persistence in the mouth is the 2002 Merlot Vintner's Select (400 cs). An opulent, heady wine that reveals gorgeously melted toffee notes intermixed with blackberry and cherry liqueur, a hint of smoke, underbrush, and fabulous power and richness, this is extraordinary pure, dense wine that is about as good as Merlot can be in California. Drink it over the next decade.

  • California Grapevine: February/March 2005 - Rating: 90

    Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, plumy, very spicy, sweet cherry and blackberry fruit aroma; full body; big, forward, rich, plush, plumy, concentrated, very ripe cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with a touch of chocolate and coffee bean; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Showing good depth of fruit and distinctive varietal character. Very appealing to taste now though deserving of several more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended. 14.6% alcohol, 424 cs.