Almost as impressive is the 2005 Cabernet Reserve, a blend of 95.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4.5 % Petit Verdot, in this case sourced 58% from Sonoma County and 42% from Napa. Its 14.5% alcohol is slightly lower than its sibling’s. This full-bodied wine is very concentrated, with a saturated bluish/purple color and a classic nose of mocha and espresso intermixed with crème de cassis and charcoal. The finish is a good 40-45 seconds, and the wine has a remarkable vibrancy and freshness from the vintage’s acidity. This is terrific stuff to drink now and over the next 12-15 years. 96+ Points (RP)
(14.5% alcohol; includes 4.5% Petit Verdot): Saturated medium ruby. Knockout nose combines cassis, kirsch, licorice, menthol and pepper. Superconcentrated and fine-grained, conveying superb spicy lift to the classic mountain berry, spice and tobacco flavors. This dense, sappy wine shows a complex and complementary herbal element in a distinctly claret-like way. Really dances on the palate and rises on the powerful, savory aftertaste. Still very young. A splendid example of this wine from a below-average crop level due to rain during the flowering that arrived after most valley floor vines had already set their crop. (ST)
*** Cellar Selection *** This is the densest, most tannic of Pride’s new releases, obviously meant for the cellar. You could drink it now, because it’s so lush, but the tightness suggests that the winemaker doesn’t want you to. Buried under the astringency are masses of cassis, dark chocolate, sweet fresh herbs and smoky oak.
Dense and youthful, brimming with blackberry, currant, wild berry, cedar, tobacco leaf and dried herb notes, joined by the scent of dill-laced oak. Finishes with a persistent aftertaste, echoing dark berry and licorice details. Gripping tannins. Drink now through 2025. (JL, Web-2015)
The biggest, boldest and most extravagant of Pride's current crop of Cabernets, the Reserve is a wine of immense size and substance with a great sense of depth and the fruity heart to handle its lavish appointment of sweet oak. It may teeter on the brink of being a bit overdone, but, for all of its swagger, it never lets ripeness or oak take the reins, and its themes of concentrated cassis govern its flavors from entry all the way through to its moderately tannic, youthfully gruff finish. Put it away for five years at a minimum, and count on it getting better for up to ten more.
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