ok, the tasting environment wasn't ideal. NE14ZIN and I were at the Long Beach Blues festival over the weekend and we snuck this in a cooler. The day was really hot which meant the wine went from like 50 degrees to lukewarm in 10 minutes in the glass. plus there were all the other distractions that go with hot weather and hotter music Smile

Anyways, on to the wine. It had a nice ruby color in the glass with a complex and satisfying nose with Xmas spices, touch of vanilla, and dark fruit. Smooth on the entry, medium bodied and somewhat subdued for the first few seconds, and then kaboom; intense explosions/waves of dark fruit, more spice, roasted espresso beans, wow! A finish upwards of 45 seconds with pretty significant tannins on the backend. It was opened for about 11 hours in the cooler until it started to slightly fade. So far I like this better than the 01 Paloma but will have to try some more at home to get a better feel. This should get better and complex with some time obviously, and based on it's structure, should last for quite awhile. I've only had a little Pride, but it seems to be made in that style. I believe it has some Cab mixed in, too.
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Dunnin: thanks, I've been thinking of pulling the trigger on their cab. Have you tried it yet or have any feedback? price? Romel seems to be very committed to quality (excellent fruit, French oak, etc.) so it seems very promising. I'm gonna pop another 2002 merlot tomorrow with a buddy and then probably get some more!
Got the cab delivered just yesterday courtesy of Zephyr Express (a specialist in wine transport) in North Hollywood. Talked to Romel (a very nice guy, by the way) today and learned that it is 100% cabernet with an even 50/50 split on Switchback and Pride juice.

Both the merlot (96% merlot/4% cab) and cab were bottled on June 23.

I'm opening a bottle on the 12th (to avoid shipping shock issues) for a wine dinner at Pinot Bistro with the drunken attorneys I hang out with.
2002 Corté Riva Merlot - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/3/2009)

Tasted October 3, 2009.

Opened and served immedaitely. Followed over 2 hours. Dark garnet color in the glass, clear hue throughout. Nose of berries. balsamic, cherries and raspberries. Rich flavors of currants, boysenberry and cherries. Medium acidity, tannins and body. Drink now. (92 pts.)

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