Blended from exactly 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, our 2008 Reserve Claret is characterized by luscious berry, plum and cassis flavors, a bright zing of acidity and silky, ripe tannins. The Claret was assembled from the final blends for our Vintner Select Merlot and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon wines, and was then allowed to marry in barrel for six months and in bottle for an additional eight months. The 2008 vintage provided us with an ultra-light crop of Clone 3 merlot for this wine. But it also produced warm, dry weather that allowed the merlot to mature to a singular intensity and aromatic complexity, reminiscent of our ripest vintages including 2002 and 1997.

Appellation: Napa/Sonoma
Vintage: 2008
Harvest: November 2008
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 60% Merlot
40% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 15%
Bottling: July 2010
Production: 518 cases
Release Date: April 2011
Price: $130.00
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Reviews

  • California Grapevine: May 2012
    Rating: 92

    Medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, intense, complex, herbal scented, cassis and blackberry fruit aroma with hints of green olive and vanilla; full body; big, rich, textured, extracted, chewy, dark cherry and blackberry fruit flavors; full tanin; lingering aftertaste. Shows both power and elegance with very good structure and balance. Very highly recommended.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 2011 Issue 198
    Rating: 93

    The 2008 Reserve Claret emerges from the glass with expressive dark red fruit, licorice, leather and spices, revealing gorgeous length and persistence. Firm yet well-integrated tannins frame the fruit beautifully from start to finish. Hints of mocha and sweet spices linger on the close. There is an attractive fleshiness to the Claret that makes the wine approachable and enjoyable even today. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.

  • Wine Spectator: February 29, 2012
    Rating: 94

    Rich and beautifully structured, with vivid aromas of red currant, fresh earth and toasty oak and intense yet still supple flavors of cherry and cedar. Tannins are dense but ripe. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2013 through 2017.

  • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: May/June 2011 Issue 156
    Rating: 93

    (60% merlot and 40% cabernet sauvignon): Full ruby-red. High-toned aromas of urgent crushed blackberry, licorice and minerals. At once firm and plush, with excellent energy to the intense mountain berry flavors. Boasts a lovely light touch for such a rich, ripe wine. Finishes with suave, broad tannins and impressive length. Higher-toned than the 2009 version, and probably for enjoying earlier.