This incarnation of our classic blend of 65% merlot and 35% cabernet sauvignon really shines. The wine radiates bright red fruit notes of cherry, strawberry and red raspberry, and also has hints of rose petal and beeswax. On the palate, the wine is unctuous and thick. This is consistently one of my absolute favorite wines to make, and to drink, and this 2011 version ranks up there with the best of them. 

The merlot selected for this wine is from our Lower Mountain Top block and was aged in French oak barrels (40% new) for 16 months.  The cabernet component is 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  The blend was allowed to marry for an additional two and a half months before bottling in August 2013.

 

Appellation: Napa/Sonoma
Vintage: 2011
Harvest: November 2011
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 65% Merlot
35% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.3%
Bottling: August 2013
Production: 472 cases
Release Date: March 2014
Price: $135.00
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Reviews

  • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: Online
    Rating: 92

    Good deep red. Slightly high-toned aromas of plum, spices, mocha, fig, vanilla, and milk chocolate, lifted by a floral nuance.  Then creamy-sweet yet savory and penetrating too, with surprisingly healthy acidity giving elegance and sappiness to the silky middle palate.  I like the blend of sweetness and vinosity here.  Finishes lightly saline and long, with ripe tannins nicely covered by fruit.

  • The Wine Advocate: October 2014
    Rating: 94

    The 2011 Claret Reserve is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 22 months in 40% new French oak (472 cases produced). It finished at 14.3% natural alcohol. A dense plum/purple color is followed by wonderful notes of cedarwood, tobacco leaf, Christmas fruitcake, blackcurrants and black cherries. Sumptuous, medium to full-bodied and velvety textured, it can be drunk now and over the next 7-10 years.