This blend is perhaps Exhibit No. 1 in the "adding some Cabernet to Merlot makes great sense" argument. That is, of course, if you want your Merlot to have serious structure and longevity as opposed to the more mid-term succulence found in many of the best 100% or near 100% Merlots. Whatever, your preference, there are plenty of wines that suit both bills, and, clearly, this deep, still-tight effort falls squarely into the "put it in the cellar" camp. Its involving aromas of black cherries, currants, cola and rich soil are followed on the palate by fairly tightly wound, yet solidly fruited flavors whose layers and depth suggest a decade of fully rising, complexing character and the capability of aging well for a second decade and more.
The 2014 Reserve Claret checks in as a blend of 56% Merlot and 44% Cabernet Sauvignon that’s mostly from the Sonoma side of the region (it’s 23% from Napa County). This deep ruby/purple-colored effort offers a rocking bouquet of spice plums, black raspberries, dried flowers, toasty oak and graphite. Deep, plush, full-bodied and layered, with a gorgeous texture and sweet tannin, it can be drunk anytime over the coming 20+ years.
Composed of 56% Merlot and 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 77% coming from Sonoma and 23% from Napa, the 2014 Claret Reserve is medium to deep garnet-purple in color and offers notes of mulberries, warm plums, red currant jelly and kirsch with hints of underbrush, cigar box and pencil lead. Medium-bodied, soft, elegantly fruited and very earthy in the mouth, it has a nice suggestion of chew to the texture and plenty of invigorating freshness, finishing with great length. (LPB)
A plush red, with an abundance of red fruit flavors flanked by savory notes. Mineral and herbal accents show on the finish. (KM)
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