2014 Claret, Napa Valley
“…It instantly opens with aromas of dark plums and cherries along with tobacco, spices, dried sage and mineral notes all taking shape in the glass. This medium to full-bodied red offers a lovely seamless, round texture with wonderful balance and focus through the finish…” 90pts – Joe D’Angelo, International Wine Report, July 2016
2014 was another classic vintage. A mild winter and spring caused an early bud break followed by consistent temperatures throughout the summer, promoting even ripening.
This vintage’s blend sourcing is: 32% Napa Valley, 31% St. Helena, 11% Oakville, 9% Oak Knoll, 4% Napa-Carneros, 4% Mt. Veeder, 4% Yountville, 3% Sonoma Valley, 1% Rutherford, and 1% Calistoga.
This year’s blend is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 3% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.
Our Claret follows the Bordelaise model of blending different Bordeaux varietals. Malolactic fermentation is completed in barrel, and the blend is assembled early so it is “elevated” as the finished wine. Our 2014 Claret rested on its lees twelve months in French & American oak barrels, only 7% new, with monthly bâtonnage to coat the tannins, producing a luscious, cushioned mouthfeel. This wine was lightly fined with egg whites and bottled without filtration in January 2016.
This soft, easy-drinking Cabernet is a good introduction to the vintage, and while it will improve over the course of three to eight years, it is not a wine intended for long-term cellaring.