2020 Reserve Claret

This blend of 72% merlot and 28% cab is as compellingly perfect a Claret as we have ever made.  Concentrated dark flavors of black cherry, cedar, moist tobacco and forest floor are elevated by nuances of lavender and spice.  These pitch perfect merlot flavors are matched by the textural choreography.  The wine begins smooth and weighty followed by a lovely building energy balancing the tannin against the acid to create a powerful finish more reminiscent of a cab.  This structure seems to enhance the flavors that resonate both freshness, with pretty black fruit being dominant, and also darkness, with an array of savory nuance.  A Reserve Claret for the ages. 

Appellation: Sonoma County
Vintage: 2020
Harvest: September 2020
Fermentation: Stainless Steel
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 72% Merlot
28% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.4%
Bottling: August 2022
Production: 614 cases
Release Date: March 2023
Release Price: $165.00

Reviews

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  • Wine Enthusiast: October 1, 2023 - Rating: 93

    This big but polished wine composed of 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Sauvignon wraps its delicious, deep black cherry and blackberry flavors in silky tannins for an elegant expression overall. A full body and good persistence of the fruit create a lingering finish. — Jim Gordon

  • Decanter: Single Tasting, 19 Jul 2023 - Rating: 93

    The Reserve Claret blends 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 20 months in 50% new French oak—generous aromas of spiced red plums, fig, and underbrush with lofty cedarwood. It builds with a creamy richness on the palate, and with air comes more generous red berry fruits, black cherry, and even blood orange with heady mocha notes layered amid sappy tannins. It's the Merlot that lends flesh, while the Cabernet brings heft and backbone. Yields were down 70% due to the Glass Fire.

    Tasted by: Jonathan Cristaldi

    (at Novato, California, 19 Jul 2023)
     
    Drinking Window: 2024 - 2030
  • Antonio Galloni Vinous: The 2021 Napa Valley Cabernets, Part One (Dec 2023) - Rating: 92

    The 2020 Claret Reserve is another terrific wine in this challenging vintage. It offers good depth in a slightly restrained style for this wine. Succulent dark cherry, plum, espresso, lavender and licorice open nicely. Overall, the 2020 feels a bit light in the mid-palate and a touch compact on the finish, but that is a pretty small critique in this vintage. 

    -by Antonio Galloni on December 2023