2011 Claret

The scale of our vineyard program and the sophistication of our facility enable us to produce this blend at a more accessible volume while maintaining nuanced control and attention to craft. As a Bordeaux style, Claret goes back to the very roots of blending wine, and putting it together is a patient, meticulous, multi-week process. When we’re crafting the aromatics and the taste of the Claret, we’re looking to create a wine that is elegant, understandable and enjoyable for any consumer anywhere in the world.

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"Bright and spicy, bristling with fine tannins around a zippy core of cherry, raspberry and clove flavors. A tobacco note adds interest to the finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2016 through 2019. 1,522 cases made."

90 points - Harvey Steinman, Wine Spectator

Tasting Notes

Elegant mixture of currants, strawberries and spice. Plums and plum skin weave underneath giving great depth. Red flowers creep in creating a soft plushness to the profile. The palate is round and soft with great texture and presence. Hints of chocolate and red berries resonate at the finish. Extremely silky and polished.

Scores & Reviews

"The oak shows prominently on this blend of Merlot (68%), Cabernet Sauvignon (21%), Malbec (7%), Petit Verdot (3%) and Cabernet Franc. It leads with notes of barrel spices, green herbs and blackberry. The palate is full and rich, with dry tannins that need time to stretch their legs."
- Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast

"A beautiful wine, the 2011 Claret offers up a medium to full-bodied, supple and elegant profile to go with impressive notes of dark berry fruits, spice box, hints of graphite and crushed flowers. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc that spent 19 months in 30% new French oak, it’s a serious, seamlessly put together wine that blossoms in the glass, has integrated acidity and fine tannin that emerges on the finish. Due to the cooler year, the blend here was tweaked slightly to include more Merlot, as the Cabernet didn’t achieve the desired level of ripeness. It should drink well for 10 to 12 years, if not longer."
- Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

"(a Bordeaux blend based on 68% Merlot; the objective here is elegance, while the flagship red is more about structure, according to winemaker Aryn Morell): Full, bright, deep red. Sexy aromas of black raspberry, mocha, licorice, tar and tobacco. At once smooth and tight-grained, with intense black fruit-dominated flavors showing very good grip. Carries nicely on the finish, which features broad tannins, firm acidity and suave oak treatment. I like this style."
- Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

Wine Facts

Appellation:

Columbia Valley

Vineyard(s):

Stillwater Creek Vineyard, Dionysus Vineyard, Red Mountain Vineyard, Pepper Bridge Vineyard, Weinbau Vineyard

Varietal Composition:

68% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc

Aging:

38% new, 62% used French oak for 19 months

Alcohol:

14.4%

Cases Produced:

1,522

Drinkability:

Now-2026

Trade Materials

Additional Information about this vintage

Vineyard Philosophy Our decision-making process for every vintage starts in the fields. We’ve cultivated a great vineyard program with sites chosen for their unique characteristics and their consistency. These are growers that we have eight, nine, ten-year relationships with, and we source from all across Washington state—Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley, Walla Walla, Red Mountain, Royal Slope, Wahluke Slope. This diversity enables us to be incredibly choosy about what goes into our blends and to produce a wine that is remarkably consistent in its presentation.

The Vintage A late-November 2010 freeze damaged vines across the state, particularly in the Walla Walla AVA. A cooler summer led to a late harvest. Despite cooler temperatures, we were still able to make rich, full wines.

Food Pairings Steak, Lamb, Venison, Pasta, Shepherds Pie, Salmon, Tuna, Cheese, Dark Chocolate. Big fruit balanced with great tannins and acidity make the Claret is a wonderful and versatile food wine. It pairs well with steak, lamb and gamier meats like venison. It loves a pasta, a shepherd’s pie or a hearty stew. It’s a great compliment to chicken, duck, and even rich fish like salmon or tuna. It’s great for a group that includes aficionados and novice wine drinkers, or a dinner party with friends who you don’t need to impress but want to anyway. It’s the perfect thing to reach for on a Friday night out or on a Tuesday, when you really just feel like crackers and good cheese for dinner and a little dark chocolate for dessert.

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