Their entry-level Cabernet blend, this vintage is comprised of 70%Cabernet Sauvignon along with 13% Merlot, 12% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. (You may know that before France started their AOC (appellation) system in the 1930’s it was common, during the 1800’s, to import Syrah from Hermitage to blend with the wines of Bordeaux. These hermitage’ wines often fetched higher prices in the English market than those which had not been “improved.”) This soft, easy-drinking wine is a good introduction to the vintage, and while it will improve over the course of three to eight years, it is not a wine intended for long-term cellaring. Somerston Vineyard comprises 35% of the blend, with 25% from Snowden Vineyard, 9% DeSantis in St. Helena, 5% Lamoreaux Oak Knoll, 5% Pedregal, 4% J. Davies, and small amounts of several other vineyards. The spring frosts in Napa resulted in Cabernet yields being down about 50%, with a consequent reduction in the amount of Claret (and Napa Valley Cabernet) that they made.
|2009: 91 Points - Josh Raynolds, Steve Tanzer's International Wine Cellars: "(95% cabernet sauvignon, 2% petit verdot, 2% syrah and 1% merlot): Deep ruby. Aromas of cherry compote, vanilla and smoky herbs. Broad, pliant red and dark fruit flavors show very good depth as well as energy, with a spicy, peppery nuance adding bite to the back end. Closes with very good energy and lift, leaving sweet dark berry and floral pastille notes behind."