One Bottle Post: 2002 Pride Mountain Merlot

The “former” 90+pt Merlot

Once again, I had to convince Eddie that one of our cellared wines was overdue for drinking.  He didn’t believe me, or my WSET training, so I pulled up the latest Wine Spectator rating online (the same thing we looked at when we bought the wine at the winery and wanted to really see that yes, the Wine Specatator had given this wine 93 points.)

Here are James Laube’s tasting notes:


Merlot Napa-Sonoma Counties 2002 Score: 93

Release Price: $52
Country: California
Region: Other California
Issue: Sep 30, 2005

Aromasof cedar, ripe berry fruit and hints of toasty oak offer solid clues asto what comes across on the palate. Intense and well-balanced, thesupple blackberry and black cherry flavors pick up a nice dose ofcreamy mocha and toasty oak on the finish. Drink now through 2009.6,500 cases made. –JL

Okay, back to me.  I served this wine, with high expectations though one year past Laube’s recommendation, to my WSET study group.  All agreed, it wasn’t very good.  Then again, we had some other exceptional wines that night, and chalking it up to a possible palate fatigue, I tried it again on my own.

Color: Clear, garnet.
Aroma: Wet oak, reminiscent of wood after rain.  Black/dark developed fruit, clove, black pepper. Something vegetal like bell peppers (which I was cutting).
Taste: Tobacco, mushroom, dry, tannins were good.
Pairing: We had Italian sausages, sweet not hot, and those bell peppers again.
52% Napa and 48% Sonoma fruit, 14.5% alcohol.
Score?  Unknown.  What did I learn?  It’s easier to study wine alone, sans WSET friends and husbands.
And, of course, my old standby: If it tastes great now, by all means, DRINK IT NOW.