2005 Reserve Claret

2005 Reserve Claret

Plum jam, strawberry, kirsh, cocoa and maple syrup candy flavors present a beguiling introduction to a multi-dimensional wine that is both playful and serious. Silky and voluptuous up front, round through the mid-palate, and powerful in the finish, this wine is our classic blend of 2/3 expressive Lower Mountain Top Clone 3 Merlot balanced with 1/3 of our resolute Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon blend. The 2005 vintage presented us with near ideal growing conditions for our dense, mountain-top style.The Reserve Claret is quite approachable in its youth, but bold enough to cellar for 15 years.

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Appellation: Napa/Sonoma
Vintage: 2005
Harvest: October 2005
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 67% Merlot
33% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.8%
Bottling: December 2005
Production: 495 cases
Release Date: March 2008
Release Price: $125.00


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  • The Wine Advocate: Issue #219, June 2015, online - Rating: 98

    This winery, sitting high atop Spring Mountain traversing both the Napa and Sonoma counties, has offered their two top cuvées in 2005 for this retrospective. The 2005 Proprietary Red Reserve Claret, sourced from both Napa and Sonoma, is a blend of 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon. It offers a moonless, black-of-night color and notes of black truffle and burning embers, whiffs of charcoal, blackberry and cassis, and touches of chocolate and coffee. This stunningly complex, opulent, full-bodied wine seems to have approached its peak of maturity, where it should easily rest for another decade or more. With perfect concentration and a skyscraper-like palate feel with no heaviness, this wine (14.8% natural alcohol) is simply compelling in all senses. It is a fabulous effort and a great tribute to Napa/Sonoma viticulture. Drink it over the next decade.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 28, 2007 Issue 174 - Rating: 93-96

    From the barrel, the gorgeous 2005 Reserve Claret should turn out to be a top-notch example of Pride Mountain winemaking. It possesses a deep ruby/purple color as well as notes of black raspberries, espresso, sweet cherries, and notions of cedar as well as graphite. Full-bodied with strong tannins, a velvety texture, a voluptuous, long mouthfeel, and a 45+ second finish, this gorgeous 2005 should age for 15 or more years.

  • Connoiseeurs' Guide: March 2009 - Rating: 95

    Among the richest and most outgoing wines in this issue, Pride's Reserve Claret is a fully extravagant wine that trades equally on deep fruit, ripeness and a wealth of lavish oak spice, but it never crosses over the line of being too much.Its tantalizing plumpness and succulent Merlot properties are offset just now by a bit of Cabernet toughness that prescribes a bit of patience, and make no mistake about it, this compelling effort is certainly bound for better, and it will continue to unfold for six to twelve years and last longer.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 2008, Issue 180 - Rating: 95

    A 500-case blend of 56% Napa fruit and 44% Sonoma fruit, the 2005 Reserve Claret (66% Merlot and 34% Cabernet Sauvignon) is a brilliant wine for the vintage. Its deep ruby/purple hue is followed by aromas of smoked herbs, black currants, blackberries, espresso roast, chocolate, and oak. The wine is gorgeously textured and opulent, with a sumptuous, long finish. It is drinking splendidly well, and should continue to do so for a decade or more.

  • Wine Spectator: Web Only - Rating: 92

    A seductive style, offering complex layers of mocha and cedary oak alongside ripe, intense currant and wild berry fruit that's tight, focused, full-bodied and persistent on the finish. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2017. 495 cases made. –JL

  • California Grapevine: April/May 2009 - Rating: 90

    Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, herbal, dark berry fruit aroma with notes of dill, tobacco, and green olive; full body; forward, rich, herbal, cedary, concentrated, dark currant flavors with good depth and showing some complexity; full tannin; a bit rough and harsh on the finish; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended.

  • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: May/June 2009 Issue 144 - Rating: 92

    Essentially a blend of two-thirds Vintner Select merlot and one-third reserve Cabernet) Good medium ruby. Complex nose melds raspberry, tobacco, caramel and loam. Sweet but youthfully tight, with very good lift to the flavors of raspberry, graphite, cumin and turmeric. Plenty of Cabernet structure here. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins. "Our biggest and most intense mountain-style wine" notes Steve Pride, adding that this wine was unapproachable early on.

  • Wine Enthusiast: July 2009 - Rating: 93

    This Bordeaux blend is enormously rich and densely concentrated in mountain fruitiness. It explodes with blackberry, black currant, chocolate, orange zest, roasted almond and sweet new oak flavors, wrapped into extraordinarily fine tannins. Shows a bit of sharpness that could indicate a mild level of volatility. But it’s a dramatic wine that should live for many, many years.