Two fantastic mountain Merlot offerings go toe to toe

This past weekend, the DdV team had ourselves some steak BBQ and put two of our favorite mountain Merlots into a pitched battle between East and West mountain terroir.

From the East was the O’Shaughnessy 2009 Merlot from Howell Mountain. Representing the West was the Pride Mountain 2009 Merlot from Spring Mountain. Both are exceptional and truly great ambassadors of the regions from which they are sourced.

After drinking both bottles (with and without food) the 4 person panel chose the Pride Mountain by a 3-1 vote.  The panel felt that the Pride’s more refined nature and touch of sweetness made it a more classic example of Merlot than the bigger/bolder O’Shaugnessy.  That said, both were exceptional and rated classic by the panel.

Tasting Notes

Pride Mountain 2009 Merlot

DdV: 95
WS: n/a
WE: n/a
Price: $58.00
88% Merlot
9% Cabernet Sauvignon
2.5% Petit Verdot
.5% Cabernet Franc
Source: Spring Mountain

A simply beautiful Merlot. Nuanced and refined but still mountain big.  Luxurious mouth feel and tremendous balance.  Dark mountain cherry and subtle floral notes on the nose moving to more dark cherry, plum, and mountain black berry on the mid. Finishes very smooth with a touch of sweetness. A true standout.

O’Shaughnessy 2009 Merlot

DdV: 94
WS: n/a
WE: n/a
Price: $60.00
Blend: 100% Merlot
Source: Howell Mountain

A much bigger bolder wine than the Pride.  Blackberry, subtle floral and spicy cinnamon greet on the nose.  The draw and mids are filled with rich mountain huckleberry, blueberry and hints of cranberry. Finish is muscular and long but smooth enough to make any Merlot lover happy.  A very fine effort. This will do just fine in the cellar for quite a while.