90 Points | Wine Enthusiasts | May 2017
Claret is the British-inspired name for an elegant red blend of classic Bordeaux varietals, in this case, Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This blend is juicy and expressive with layered aromas of cranberry, cherry cola, and currants merging with vibrant flavors of dark red berries and spices. The creamy entry finishes smoothly yet structured.
Warm sunny days throughout the spring and summer months set the stage for a spectacular harvest in September 2014. The lack of rain meant that harvest began a little earlier than normal and was short in length, finishing up by the end of October. The temperate days leading up to harvest produced good yields of high-quality fruit with concentrated flavors, complex aromatics, and excellent structure.
The grapes that go into our Sonoma County Claret are from our Certified Sustainable Estate Vineyards and top growers in Sonoma County, a prime region for nurturing Bordeaux varietals such as Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The different varieties thrive in our temperate Sonoma weather and contribute distinctive and individual qualities to the final blend.
All grapes are gently de-stemmed before cold-soaking for two days to extract optimal color and flavor. The fruit is fermented in separate lots, allowing each lot to be individually and distinctly crafted before being aged in French oak barrels, 20% new. Before final blending, the wines are kept 16 months in barrel.