Pride (Mountain) and Prejudice

I admit to being a bit prejudiced about Pride Mountain Vineyards.  I like going there for the tasting, and I like their wines, especially their Merlot, which is one of the top 10 in Napa/Sonoma (IMHO). 

Lori and I took my mother wine tasting to Pride Mountain Vineyards a couple of months ago, just before harvest.  We were last there 3 years ago (and posted about the Pride visit). Mom was last there 25-30 years ago, before they built the beautiful tasting room and winery that’s now there.  We brought lunch with us, and picnicked before our tasting at the top of the hill.  Great views from there. 

I like the way Pride does tastings.  You start with a white, at a table outside the tasting room.  (In years past, you would be inside the tasting room, but not with Covid-19 rules.)  Then you walk with your tasting guide towards the caves, stopping to see the brick line on the ground denoting the county line between Napa and Sonoma Counties.  It’s an interesting complication to their operations to straddle the county line, having to keep wine from one county from moving into the other county (or else paperwork is needed). 

In the caves, you get to taste both finished wine from the bottle and wine still aging in the barrels.  Typically, you’re going to get a taste of each of their red varietals:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.  However, which is bottle and which is barrel, which is Napa and which is Sonoma, which is pure varietal and which has been blended can change each time you go there. 

After a nice long walk and taste in the caves, it’s back into the sunshine for a final taste at your table, and the discussion about which wines to purchase.  Pride does very well with Viognier and Merlot, and so that’s usually on our purchase list.  On this trip, they were sold out of Viognier, so a few bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon came home with us, along with the few bottles of Merlot.  Those are laying down, next to the Merlot from the last visit, waiting for the right “special” occasion (which could just be dinner for Lori and I!). 

Pride Mountain Viognier dessert wine.

What we did open, for dinner the next night, was a bottle of their Viognier dessert wine that we had purchased on our last visit.  A nice way to finish the weekend. 

At the time we visited, it was not clear what damage fires and smoke would do to Pride Mountain’s property and to the harvest. The last I heard from them, the fires had come all around the property, however, there had been only minimal damage. Regarding the harvest, they didn’t say, but I assume that they’re like most other Sonoma and Napa wineries and are only going to have white wines from the 2020 vintage, with most of the reds having smoke taint.

L’Chaim,

Larry

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