2020 Merlot

Not only is this a great merlot, it is as beautiful a merlot as we have ever made.  What makes it so special?  As mandated by merlot, the 2020 is foremost about the fruit, with ripe mulberry and kirsch taking center stage to provide pure smile-inducing pleasure. But this is no simple fruit bomb.  It permeates your senses with tangy elderberry, verbena, lemon grass and savory black pepper notes.  It is fresh, nuanced and cerebral in addition to providing the comforting fruit pleasure and luxuriant mouthfeel we require from merlot.  The finish rises with verve and excitement resulting in complex choreography if you look for it, but indulgent relaxed pleasure if you are just stretched out on the couch.  This year’s 2020 Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot defines the essence of what makes merlot such a great varietal. 

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Appellation: Napa County
Vintage: 2020
Harvest: September 2020
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 90% Merlot
5% Cabernet Sauvignon
5% Petit Verdot
Alcohol: 14.3%
Bottling: April 2022
Production: 3451 cases
Release Date: August 2022
Release Price: $65.00


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  • Vinous: From: Napa Valley: The Frantic 2020s & Stunning 2021s (Feb 2023) - Rating: 92

    The 2020 Merlot is a racy, extroverted wine. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, chocolate, spice and espresso are nicely dialed up. All the elements come together beautifully in this exuberant, forward Merlot from Pride. 

  • Wine Enthusiast : October 1, 2023 - Rating: 93

    Alluring oak spices and a touch of dusty earth crowd the aroma of this full-bodied wine before ripe, focused, well-delineated black fruit flavors take over, wrapped in significant, silky tannins for great structure. Tempting to drink now, but it'll be best 2026–2036. — Jim Gordon

  • Decanter: Single Tasting - Rating: 90

    Wonderfully fragrant cedarwood, herbs, and baking spices lead to a medium-bodied palate with juicy Santa Rosa plums and Bing cherry. More rich oak notes build in the glass, along with slivers of dark chocolate, toffee, and espresso beans. It's a fine-drinking Merlot for such a challenging vintage.

    Tasted by: Jonathan Cristaldi

    (at Novato, California, 19 Jul 2023)

    Drinking Window: 2024 - 2028