The Reserve Claret has a lovely flavor profile expressing black raspberry, strawberry, plum and brown sugar.  The mouth is dense, super jammy without being stewed or porty, and accented by complex nuances of hazelnut and coffee.  Rich and textured, this wine is mouth-coating and pure pleasure to drink.  As in most years, the wine is primarily Clone 3 Merlot from our Lower Mountain Top block, blended with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from our Rock Arch and Carolyn’s blocks.

Appellation: Napa/Sonoma
Vintage: 2007
Harvest: October 2007
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 70% Merlot
30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 15%
Bottling: August 2009
Production: 441 cases
Release Date: April 2010
Price: $125.00
SOLD OUT

Reviews

  • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: May/June 2010 Issue 150 & 156
    Rating: 94

    Issue 150: Good deep red-ruby. Sexy, very ripe, slightly high-toned aromas of sweet plum, tobacco leaf and minerals. Densely packed, sweet and voluptuous, with very ripe currant and plum flavors enlivened by strong graphite minerality. Impressively seamless and deep wine with terrific balance. Finishes very long and sweet. The fruit got riper up here in 2006 than in 2007, noted Johnson. The merlot comes from the same source as the Vintner Select bottling, while the cabernet sauvignon is from the oldest block on the property, dating back to 1982.

    Issue 156: This 60/40 blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon includes a bit more merlot than usual; there's also a small percentage of 2008 juice in this wine): Good deep ruby-red. Captivating aromas of redcurrant, plum, cedar and tobacco; about as claret-like as mountain fruit can be. Then opulent, round and smooth in the mouth, but with nicely restrained sweetness. Turns more serious on the back end, finishing with suave but firm tannins and building sweetness. This is excellent.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 23, 2010 Issue 192
    Rating: 95

    The two most expensive offerings include the 2007 Reserve Claret. Its opaque purple color is followed by a beautiful flowery nose revealing notions of blueberry pie, blackberries, cassis and a hint of vanillin in the background. An opulent, full-bodied red with great depth, purity and richness, it is a blend of 82% Sonoma fruit and 18% Napa fruit. The texture is like a skyscraper and the wine is plush, opulent and ideal for drinking over the next 10-15 years.

  • Wine Spectator: July 31, 2011
    Rating: 94

    Rich, lush and complex, with red currant and toasty bitter mocha aromas that lead to layered black raspberry, anise and fresh earthy loam flavors. The tannins are big but fleshy. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2016. 441 cases made.

  • Wine Enthusiast: August 2011
    Rating: 93

    This is a big, hard, tannic wine. It's so buttoned up, the question is whether it will age. Most of the signs say yes. It's gigantically rich in blackberries, cassis and chocolate, with a berried sweetness accented by the caramel of toasted oak. Acidity is just fine. On the other hand, the alcohol is notable, giving it peppery heat. A very fine, flashy, impressive wine, but its future is obscure.