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NM: In crafting wines for Pride from these vineyards on Spring Mountain, what would you say are the things you find exciting and, conversely, what aspects do you find challenging?
SJ: The greatest thing for me about producing wines from here on Spring Mountain is that we're entirely estate-production, so that with every block and every row I see these vines throughout the year. Our vineyard manager lives here on the property, and he and I talk two or three times a day about what's going on in the vineyard. So, I'm able to be very actively involved in how the grapes are grown from start to finish. And I really prefer that to having to drive all over and work with contracted fruit, and trying to get the owners and growers to manage the fruit the way I'd like to see it done. Another thing I enjoy here is the quality; I think we have some really unique vineyards here. One is what we call our Rock Arch vineyard block, the oldest one on our property. It's unique in part because of its vertical cordons; instead of training the vines out like a T, we've trained them up. It was a vineyard that was planted from cuttings taken from a couple of vineyards down in [the valley of] Napa. Nobody knows exactly what the clone is, but it's unbelievable and totally distinctive; it produces a blue-black fruit that's very concentrated and can be very tannic, and is always the last thing to be harvested.
"I don't know if there ever will be a single identity for Spring Mountain."
NM: Bringing it all full-circle, how do you feel that Pride integrates into the overall identity of the Spring Mountain appellation?
SJ: I don't know if there ever will be a single identity for Spring Mountain. It's mainly known for Cabernets, but the character of those Cabernets can vary drastically. There's a lot of great Merlot here, too. But I don't think this will ever be like the smaller, well-defined appellations where you know what to expect from the wines that come from there. I think Spring Mountain will always have great diversity.
Yet in the end, it's the command of that very diversity that has allowed Pride's winemaking team to continue to articulate the brand's identity and further strengthen its renown as a producer of mountain-grown wines of allure, character, and longevity. To learn more about this producer, its story, and its portfolio of wines, visit Pride Mountain Vineyards online. Photo Credits: Pride Mountain Vineyards.
Tasting Notes of the Pride Mountain Vineyards Portfolio
- 2008 Viognier: Pronounced aromas of white flower and stone fruit coming through intensely on the palate with a rich, unctuous mouthfeel and a white-peppery finish.
- 2007 Chardonnay (100% Carneros): Aromas of lemon blossom and McIntosh apple following through on the palate along with the flavor of asian pear, all focused with bright acidity and a lean finish.
- 2006 Vintner's Select Chardonnay: Full and round aromas of lemon creme and ripe melon coming through pronounced on the palate along with a prominent flavor of toasted coconut, a creamy mouthfeel, and lingering finish.
- 2006 Syrah: Pronounced aromas of dark chocolate, black cherry, and blackberry all coming through on the palate with bright acidity and ripe, grippy tannins.
- 2007 Cabernet Franc (100% Sonoma): Aromas of bright red berry fruit coming through on the palate along with prominent herbaceous notes, balanced acidity, and sandy tannins.
- 2007 Merlot (56% Sonoma, 44% Napa): Aromas of fresh herbs, cooler spices, and blueberry all coming through on the palate with bright acidity, sandy tannins, and a long finish.
- 2006 Cabernet (70% Napa, 30% Sonoma): Pronounced aromas of ripe, black currant, bramble, mocha, and cocoa coming through intensely on the palate, with balanced acidity, sandy tannins, and a rich, lingering finish.