2015 Claret, Napa Valley
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“Medium garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Claret offers notes of blackberries, kirsch and red currants with hints of earth and dried herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate is plush, velvety and open for business, with some baking spice notes coming through on the finish.” Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Advocate, March 2017
Winter 2015 was the warmest on record, resulting in early budbreak. Cooler, wetter weather in spring months slowed development, however, leading to a challenging, extended bloom period. The resulting uneven fruit set translated to a small crop and smaller berries with very concentrated flavors. Weather throughout the summer growing season was consistently warm, bringing on a very early harvest.
This vintage’s blend sourcing is: 89% Napa Valley, 6% Mendocino, and 5% Russian River.
This year’s blend is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 6% Syrah, 4% Malbec, and 4% Petit Verdot.
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 2015 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 February 2017.
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.