Saturday, January 6, 2018

Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2013 at Bluebeards Indy

Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot 2013 at Bluebeards Indy

We dined at Bluebeard Restaurant in the trendy Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis with Eric and Cathy and Pat and Rodger. Bluebeard is sited in an old garage with beam ceilings, brick walls, a large ornate entry door with a cozy side bar. The Bluebeard menu is comprised of small, medium and large sharable plates of seafood, pasta, and steak. A selection of side salads were also large enough for sharing. There's also a cheese and charcuterie selection and an appropriate suitable dessert menu.

I chose a favorite, foie gras which was delectable, not sufficient for sharing necessarily, but ideal for a red wine accompaniment. Eric & Cathy shared the Pappardelle italian sausage with sugo, basil, and parmesan, Linda and Pat shared the Coquilles St. Jacques with leeks, crimini mushroom, parmesan cream, toasted bread crumbs. 

The Bluebeard wine list offered a carefully selected diverse selection of American, French and Italian including many well known favorites and many premium and ultra-premium selections. Favorite selections that you'll read about in these pages or find in our cellar included (with some representative reference prices) Robert Craig, Chappellet, Crossbarn, Dominus ($500), Silver Oak (AV $180), Spring Valley, Venge (Scouts Honor $80) and Turley. The Italian and French selections included popular names Gaja, Giacosa, Chapoutier, Paul Jaboulet, Barone Ricasoli Casalferro, Gaja Pieve Santa Restitua and Luce. There were also some Australian Penfolds and Spanish selections for Bordeaux varietal wine drinkers, Numanthia and Cune at both ends of the price spectrum.

Generally, the prices were a bit high at, or slightly more than 2X retail, but I also found this ideal selection for our dinner at almost retail price which was a rare anomalous bargain on the list.

Label shown from 2014
Pride describe this Merlot "as a Cabernet-lover’s Merlot with its thick and round mid-palate but this one also has tremendous density and size. The wine is packed full of stuffing, with flavors of chocolate, plum, strawberry, wet shale, crushed rose petal and za’atar spice. The blend is predominantly Merlot from our 12 estate vineyard blocks, with 8% of our Rock Arch Cabernet Sauvignon added for structure, depth of flavor and persistence."

Rating of 90 points. His review: "The Merlot is deep, dense and powerful, but it also drinks surprisingly well for the year. Dark cherry, mocha, plum, smoke, licorice, spice and French oak are all quite forward. Drink this plump, giving Merlot over the next handful of years. The 40% new French oak is a bit dominant today."
I liked it even though it was a bit obtuse, not polished or well integrated, with a slight edge that may wear off with some aging, dark garnet colored, medium bodied, bright vibrant black berry fruits with tones of spice, oak, and a layer of smokey notes of anise and hints of mocha and plum on a sharp tangy fruity finish. 
This is a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from Pride estate vineyards at the top of Spring Mountain on the Napa side with some of the vineyards on the Sonoma side of the summit, hence it has an Napa/Sonoma designation. 

RM 90 points.