“Big, beefy, rich flavors and superb intensity,” said Robert Parker, referring to the 2003 Reserve Claret. Loaded with rich, ripe cherries, cassis, chocolate and espresso character, this outstanding and much sought after Merlot-based blend (2/3 Merlot and 1/3 Cabernet Sauvignon), is proof that fine wine connoisseurs know not to take advice on what to drink from the movies!

Appellation: Napa/Sonoma
Vintage: 2003
Harvest: October 2003
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 67% Merlot
33% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.4%
Bottling: December 2005
Production: 402 cases
Release Date: April 2006
Price:
SOLD OUT

Reviews

  • Wine Spectator: July 12, 2006 Page 4
    Rating: 94

    A classy effort, rich and polished, focused and complex, it serves up tiers of ripe currant, mineral, black cherry  and plum flavors that fan out evenly on the palate, gaining richness and depth on the finish.  Lots of finesse, grace and  elegance.  Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.  Drink now through 2013

  • The Wine Advocate: December 26, 2006 Issue 168, Page 30
    Rating: 94

    The 2003 Reserve Claret (83% from Sonoma and 17% from Napa) is a blend of two-thirds Merlot and one-third Cabernet Sauvignon. A gorgeous effort, it boasts a deep ruby/purple hue as well as a stunning perfume of mocha, espresso roast, chocolate, black cherries, berries, and spice box. A fabulous texture, multidimensional mouthfeel, and excellent purity result in a full, complete wine that coats the palate and finishes with no hard edges. Enjoy it over the next 10 to 15 years.

  • Wine Enthusiast: March 2007
    Rating: 95

    If you’re lucky enough to try this with Pride’s Reserve Cab, which is 100% varietal, you’ll find this one fleshier and meatier. Based on Merlot, it shows a voluptuous fatness, a chocolate-covered cherry candy immediacy, that makes it drinkable now. At the same time, it has big, dusty, mouth-coating tannins. Drink now, with decanting, or cellar for 10 years.

  • Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate Retrospective Tasting:
    Rating: 97

    The 2003 Reserve Claret is a blend of 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon that achieved 14.4% alcohol. An exquisite candidate for wine of the vintage, it comes from a vineyard high on the summit of Spring Mountain. Eighty­three percent of the fruit comes from Sonoma and the rest from Napa County as the vineyard sits astride the county lines. Its dark plum/garnet color reveals a slight lightening at the edge. A beautiful nose of cedar wood, forest floor, red and black currants, kirsch and plum is followed by a full-bodied wine with great freshness, a rich, textured mouthfeel and sensational concentration with no heaviness. This is an uplifting, quintessential mountain Claret that outperforms the vintage. Just entering its plateau of full maturity, it can be drunk now and over the next decade. - Robert Parker (June, 2013)