1996 Reserve Claret

1996 Reserve Claret

This is another great Reserve Claret from the top of the mountain. This classic blend of 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petite Verdot offers an incredibly overt aromatic display of ripe blackberry, wild violet, cedar and camphor. On the palate, chocolate nuances evolve from a sweet round middle. Ripe berry flavors linger for minutes on end and marry in an astounding finish. Tannins are ample, yet soft and approachable. This ’96 Claret takes us to a new level for this class of blend and represents what a true reserve wine should be.

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Appellation: Napa Valley
Vintage: 1996
Harvest: October 1996
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: Select French Oak
Blend: 63% Merlot
32% Cabernet Sauvignon
5% Petite Verdot
Alcohol: 14.1%
Bottling: February 1999
Production: 224 cases
Release Date: July 1999
Release Price:


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  • International Wine Cellar: May/June 1999 Page 53 - Rating: 92

    Full ruby color. Sexy oak complements cassis, graphite and smoke aromas. Tightly wrapped on the palate, but clearly more intensely flavored than the last sample. Lovely minerally inner-mouth perfume. Big but unevolved. Finishes quite strong, with firm tannins supported by sheer material. Impressive wine

  • The Wine Advocate: August 24, 1999 Issue 24, Page 43/44 - Rating: 95

    Nearly as spectacular as the 1996 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is the 1996 Reserve Claret. A blend of 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petite Verdot (230 cases), it is a gorgeously balanced, super-concentrated yet hauntingly symmetrical wine with copious quantities of black fruits, spicy new oak, minerals, licorice, and roasted herbs. Full-bodied, with a cherry liqueur-like richness to its fruit, this wine has loads of glycerin, fabulous extract, and no hard edges. The velvety finish lasts for 40+ seconds. These are spectacular wines that must be tasted to be believed.

  • Connoisseurs' Guide: December 1999 Page 34 - Rating: 2 Puffs

    Despite its limited bottling status, this deep and long-aging bottling from Pride Mountain certainly should not be overlooked on your up-coming wine-buying forays. It is deep yet still closed-in with tight, oaky, black cherry and dried currant aromas and, while somewhat more open at the front of the palate, its compact, oak-enriched flavors firm up and run into a noticeable bit of latter palate tannin. Five to eight years in bottle will see this sturdy but stunning wine achieving its substantial promise.