2019 Vintner Select Merlot

Brooding aromas of black cherry, kirsh, ripe plum, dark chocolate, star anise and freshly-grated nutmeg burst forth from the moment the cork is pulled. Its unrelenting richness, dense mid-palate and fine, silky tannins throw down a gauntlet and dare you to resist giving the wine your full attention. To say this is a cab lover’s merlot is an understatement.

Over our 25 years of trying different merlot clones at different growing sites around the property, we find that clone 3 merlot grown on our warmest south-facing slopes is what makes our most thrilling, flavorful and concentrated merlot; our VS Merlot comes entirely from these clones 3 merlot blocks each vintage.  We typically make around 500 cases of VS Merlot each vintage compared to 600+ cases of Reserve Claret and 5000+ cases of Pride Merlot.


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Appellation: 82% Napa
18% Sonoma
Vintage: 2019
Harvest: October 2019
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 14.4%
Bottling: July 2021
Production: 654 cases
Release Date: January 2022
Release Price: $92.00


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  • Vinous: From: Napa Valley: The Frantic 2020s & Stunning 2021s (Feb 2023) - Rating: 94

    The 2019 Merlot Vintner Select is a gorgeous, nuanced wine. Here, too, my impression is of a wine that shows a bit less opulence than in the past. That's not a bad thing, as this site naturally yields wines of power. If this is a sign of where Pride is headed, that is a very, very good thing. Leather, tobacco, cedar, bay leaf, dried herbs and menthol give this surprisingly translucent, savory Merlot tons of character. 

  • Robert Parker Wine Advocate: May 2023 Week 1, The Wine Advocate - Rating: 93+

    The 2019 Merlot Vintner's Select is 100% Merlot but still blends fruit from both of the ranch's counties (it's 82% Napa and 18% Sonoma). Showing greater ripeness and purity than the regular bottling of Merlot, it oozes black cherries on the nose, tinged with cassis and hints of oak-derived scents of baking spices. Medium to full-bodied, it's ripe and expansive, flowing easily across the palate and leaving a plush trail of velvety texture and softly dusty tannins on the finish.