The 2001 Merlot Mountaintop Vineyard exhibits an even more saturated ruby/purple color as well as tighter, more restrained aromatics (dusty, earthy, spice box, black cherry and black currant fruit). Rich, full-bodied and extraordinarily young for a Merlot, this big wine comes from Pride’s high elevation (2,000 plus feet) vineyard. Great acidity and plenty of sweet tannin provide structure as well as delineation. While approachable, it will benefit from another 3-4 years of cellaring and should easily last 20-25 years. This is a provocative, high intensity, singular Merlot that will make believers out of this varietal’s critics. (RP) 94+
Bright, saturated ruby-red. Sappy, superripe but more brooding aromas of black cherry liqueur, black raspberry and dark chocolate. Denser and more minerally than the regular Merlot, with a very different, finer-grained texture rare for North Coast Merlot. Very young but already pliant. Finishes with superb brooding dark fruit flavors that really stain the palate. This is from stony, clay-rich soil that produces fruit with more extract and acidity and a deeper color, notes Foley, who adds that some of this fruit goes into Pride's reserve claret. A superb California Merlot. (ST)
Dark, rich and creamy, with excellent structure and tiers of currant, blackberry, coffee, mocha and black cherry flavors that are woven together in a seamless package, with a strong burst of fruit complexity on the long, intricate finish. (JL)
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