2012 “A Proper Claret”
$16.00 per bottle / $172.80 per case
$13.60 per bottle / $153.60 per case (Members)
We are not quite sure how but Bonny Doon Vineyard seems to have just released (or maybe unleashed?) a new wine called “A Proper Claret.” (You might well already suspect this, but things are pretty mad-cap around here these days).
The circumstances of its “release” are a bit mysterious. Randall has made himself scarce of late and there's been a somewhat suspicious character, calling himself Reginald ffrench-Postalthwaite, or some such fantastic name, who has been camping out in Randall's office.
Reginald, (if that's really his name) seems to be the prime instigator of this new project, “A Proper Claret,” (soi-disant). We are not quite sure how Bonny Doon Vineyard has come to be roped into this since Bonny Doon Vineyard is, or at least has been a strictly cabernet-free zone, at least for the last twenty-eight years. Randall has nothing but opprobrium, bordering on vaguely amused disdain for this very popular grape variety.
So, with these caveats, the sentiment at Bonny Doon Vineyard is that if we ever were to drink a cabernet-based blend, this would be one that would serve quite well. It is lean, neither overly alcoholic (weighing in at 13%), nor overly extracted; it is precisely as one would imagine A Proper Claret to be. The wine contains a substantial dollop of petit verdot (22%), which adds a silky note of violets and textural elegance, in precision counterpoint to the lead-in-the-pencil firmness offered by the inclusion of the manly tannat (8%). There is a lovely suggestion of cedar and mint, in the nose. The wine has medium tannins, nice acidity, and finishes cleanly.
Some cautionary words: Bonny Doon Vineyard is, as we all know or should know, a strictly cabernet-free zone, at least it has been for the last twenty-eight years. The last “Claret” produced at Bonny Doon Vineyard was in 1985 from grapes grown at our late Estate in the eponymous hamlet of Bonny Doon. It was a blend of approximately equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab. Franc, Merlot and Malbec, and against all expectation, it was actually pretty damn good. Randall Grahm, owner and winemaker, has expressed opprobrium, occasionally bordering on amused disdain, for this popular grape variety. We are not really at liberty to say how Bonny Doon Vineyard has come to be entrusted with the distribution of a wine made from such improbably alien grape varieties, but suffice to say that the deal was doon grudgingly and harumphingly.
Proper (British) mutton, proper leg of lamb, (ideally served with proper Yorkshire pudding).