2016 Claret

Claret is the traditionally used term in Britain for a wine from Bordeaux. Matthews Claret is a consistent stunner and the “go-to” wine for many who enjoy Washington State’s homage to the wines of Bordeaux, a classic “Claret.” Utilizing a state-of-the-art facility and selective blending of all five red Bordeaux varietals allows us to produce this balanced and approachable wine that pairs equally well with haut cuisine or your backyard barbeque.

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"A claret-style blend, this contains 45 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 32 percent Merlot, the balance Cabernet franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. It’s well-oaked, and yet some of the Valley’s savory markers show through, like the notes of cedar, tobacco leaf and sundried tomato. It’s generous in flavor, yet the wine’s lively acidity and savory sandalwood grip of tannins makes it feel light and lean."

92 points - Patrick J. Comiskey, Wine & Spirits

Tasting Notes

Smoked black currants, strawberry, plum skin and a hint of vanilla bean. Swirling brings up dark spice, blackberry and sandalwood. The palate is dense and ripe with great texture, sweet muddled black fruits, super fine tannins, some savory spice and a fresh lifted finish. It will age beautifully.

Scores & Reviews

"The 2016 Claret is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 1 % Malbec that was brought up in 45% new French oak. It has good amounts of cherry and currant fruits as well as notes of spice, cedar, and white flowers, medium body, no hard edges, and incredible charm and texture. It's already drinking nicely but I suspect it will keep for 7-8 years, if not longer."
- Jeb Dunnuck,jebdunnuck.com

"A rich and fragrant nose with ripe berries and rosehips, leading to a palate that has a fresh and lithe array of boldly juicy fruit that holds good balance and depth. A blend of 45% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 17% cabernet franc, 5% petit verdot and 1% malbec. Ready now."
- James Suckling, jamessuckling.com

"Polished and elegantly layered, with expressive black cherry, toasty spice and cedar accents that build toward refined tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2024. 2,235 cases made."
- Tim Fish, Wine Spectator

"In this blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec, bittersweet chocolate, dark cherry, coffee and fresh and dried herb aromas are followed by elegantly styled raspberry, coffee and cherry flavors. It's a very pretty wine, with a pleasing lip-smacking quality. Give it some additional bottle time to see it at its best."
- Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast

"Bright, saturated ruby-red. Ripe but not overripe aromas of blueberry, blackberry, licorice and spices, plus a whiff of dark chocolate. Suave, dry and classic, with its dark berry and spice flavors showing terrific inner-mouth aromatic lift. More complex than either the Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot bottlings and a step up in tannic spine and definition. This wine was essentially made from the same raw materials that went into the two varietal bottlings but comes across as denser and more complete. Finishes with smooth tannins and excellent length."
- Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

Wine Facts

Labeled Appellation:

Columbia Valley


Stillwater Creek, Dionysus, Bacchus, Hedges, Canyons, Angela’s, Red Mountain, Quintessence, Blue Mountain and Pepper Bridge.

Varietal Composition:

45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 32% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec


20 months in in 45% new French oak



Cases Produced:




Trade Materials

Additional Information about this vintage

Fermentation 68% Stainless Steel, 32% Concrete Tanks

Harvest The fruit for our Claret, like all of Matthews wines, is picked at first light when temperatures are cooler. We keep yields low to ensure even ripeness. Grapes are hand-sorted at the vineyard and shipped to the winery early in the morning, in refrigerated trucks.

2016 Vintage Weather A long growing season with favorable weather provided excellent fruit in 2016. The extended season allowed the grapes in Washington State to ripen slowly, producing a balanced, fresh and approachable vintage.

Drinking / food suggestions Although Matthews Claret is purposefully food-friendly, and lends itself to all sorts of food pairings, from the casual lunch to an elegant multicourse dinner, the 2016 has enough richness and density to stand up to grilled meats, such as steak and lamb.

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