2012 Vintner Select Merlot

The clone 3 merlot used in our Vintner Select is grown on a rolling hillside block that we call Lower Mountaintop due to its position just below the highest point on the estate. After harvest on October 18th, the wine was fermented, drained to French oak barrels (40% new) and aged for 18 months before racking and bottling, without fining or filtration, in July of 2014. The wine has been bottle-aged for an additional six months before release. This vintage displays lovely black fruit, dark chocolate and licorice, with an ultra-round mouthfeel that truly has no hard edges.  This wine defines what merlot is all about up on top of Spring Mountain. 


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Appellation: Sonoma County
Vintage: 2012
Harvest: October 2012
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 14.6%
Bottling: July 2014
Production: 559 cases
Release Date: January 2015
Release Price: $80.00


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  • California Grapevine: May 2015, Volume 41 - Rating: 92

    2012 Pride Mountain Vineyards, “Vintner Select Cuvée,” Sonoma County ($80) – Medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, deep, intense, cedary, red currant, black cherry, and blackberry fruit aroma with hints of tobacco leaf, licorice, and cocoa; full body; forward, very rich, deep, textured, cedary, black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors, though still a bit rough in the mouthfeel; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Should benefit with a few more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended. 14.6% alcohol; 559 cases; 100% Merlot; released January 2015. (My Score: 92 of 100 points)

  • Wine Enthusiast: September 2015 - Rating: 93

    A 100% varietal wine, grown in an area called the Lower Mountaintop, there's a compelling candied cherry and raspberry element here, supported by complex accents of vanilla and cured meat. With plenty of body to stay fresh and vibrant on the palate, it never gets bogged down, finishing in richer components of dark chocolate and oak.

  • Wine Spectator: October 31, 2015 - Rating: 92

    Features power and finesse, with aromas of fresh red currant and dusty mocha leading to flavors that are dense midpalate yet wrapped in supple notes of cherry, bay leaf and spicy loam. Drink now through 2023. 559 cases made -TF

  • Vinous: October 2015, online - Rating: 93

    The 2012 Merlot Vintner Select is deep, inky and explosive, with plenty of varietal character and richness. Ripeness is pushed to the edge, which actually works well with Merlot, although some tasters might notice a slightly oxidative note that peeks through on the finish. The 2012 could use further time in bottle to drop some baby fat, but it is impressive, even today. Succulent dark cherries, raspberry jam, cloves, mint and new leather linger on the close.

  • The Wine Advocate: eRobertParker.com #221 Oct. 2015 - Rating: 94

    The 2012 Merlot Vintner’s Select is 100% Merlot from the Sonoma side of their vineyards, aged in 40% new French oak for 20 months. This smaller cuvée of just over 500 cases displays lots of chocolate and espresso notes, plenty of glycerin, and touches of background oak, spice box, blackberry and black cherry jam. It is ripe, dense, delicious, and ideal for drinking over the next 8-10 years.