Although sweet oak is a major player here and leaves its indelible mark throughout, it is met by more than enough wonderfully deep, very vital, well-defined, black cherry fruit and the two work together in a nicely matched mix. Very much made in the typically showy Pride style with the accent on ripeness and richness, the wine is balanced and supple and fit with the kind of fine tannins that provide just the right degree of structural grip. Ideally, this is one best left undisturbed for another three or four years, but it has the polish and come-hither succulence to invite drinking right now.
The 2011 Claret Reserve is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 22 months in 40% new French oak (472 cases produced). It finished at 14.3% natural alcohol. A dense plum/purple color is followed by wonderful notes of cedarwood, tobacco leaf, Christmas fruitcake, blackcurrants and black cherries. Sumptuous, medium to full-bodied and velvety textured, it can be drunk now and over the next 7-10 years. (RP)
The 2011 Claret Reserve is a gorgeous wine today, but it also has more than enough depth to drink well for a number of years. Pliant and expressive, the 2011 Claret Reserve embodies the very best qualities of this tricky vintage. Red cherry, plum, smoke, leather and cedar flesh out on the expressive, resonant finish. This is a terrific showing from Pride. (AG)
Good deep red. Slightly high-toned aromas of plum, spices, mocha, fig, vanilla and milk chocolate, lifted by a floral nuance. Then creamy-sweet yet savory and penetrating too, with surprisingly healthy acidity giving elegance and sappiness to the silky middle palate. I like the blend of sweetness and vinosity here. Finishes lightly saline and long, with ripe tannins nicely covered by fruit. (ST)
From a cool vintage, this blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon is still tight, offering an elegance of rose, dried cranberry and herb around sizable but not puckering tannins. Flavors of cherry and strawberry shyly reveal themselves in the glass, but the wine should develop further in the cellar, through 2021. *Cellar Selection* (VB)
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