Claret is the British-inspired term for an elegant red blend of classic Bordeaux varietals, in this case: Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a touch of Petit Verdot. This charismatic wine entices the nose with a brilliant spark of dried cranberry, underlined by savory cherry compote and a captivating forest musk. The palate opens with bright notes of cassis, sheathed in a rich body reminiscent of Medjool dates, carob, and cordials. The elevated acidity on the finish is glycerol keeping the final hints of fruit vivid as they diminish.
Harvest in 2016 started in the middle of August during a pattern of warm sunny days cooled by foggy mornings and breezy afternoons for most of the area. The early months of the year were very mild with little rain allowing the vines to progress steadily and uneventfully. Yields throughout the region were slightly below average but moderate weather starting in early summer gave the fruit plenty of time to develop great color and flavor, resulting in beautifully balanced wines.
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 varieties such as Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. These grapes thrive in our temperate Sonoma weather and rocky soils, each contributing 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.