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2014 “A Proper Claret
Wine Specs
Vintage
2014
Varietal
36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petit Verdot, 22% Tannat, 9% Syrah, 7% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petite Sirah
Appellation
California
TA
5.7 g/L
pH
3.61
Aging
Drink now
Label Artist
Bascove
Alcohol %
13.2

2014 “A Proper Claret"

California Red Wine

GOLD, Critic's Challenge 2016

New Release!
In Stock
Add To Cart
$16.00
/ 750ml
SKU: APC14C

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-nine years. The last “Claret” nominally 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, was actually pretty damn good.

Randall Grahm, owner and winemaker, has expressed indifference, 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.

Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
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 13.2%) nor overly extracted, nor overly oakèd; it is precisely what one would imagine A Proper Claret to be. The wine contains a substantial dollop of petit verdot (22%), adding a silky note of violets and textural elegance, in counterpoint to the lead-in-the-pencil firmness offered by the inclusion of the virile tannat (22%). Tannat, the grape implicated in the French paradox (and the vinifera variety with resveratrol levels that are off the charts), is principally grown in Gascony (land of Les Trois Mousquetaires), though it was historically grown as well in Bordeaux as late as the 19th century. Comparing this wine with the 2013 APC, the second vintage, the ’14 version is a bit plusher and posher, with softer tannins, not unreminiscent of the overstuffed chair at one’s Club. There is still a lovely minty, cedary aspect to this wine, reflective of its perfect balance, with nary a prunish note to be found.
Awards
GOLD, Critic's Challenge 2016
Winemaker Notes
Now, as to the label. What can we say? We are just scandalized, sputteringly unable to countenance the opportunistic wine marketeers who would stoop to using lurid imagery merely to sell a bottle of wine. Has it really come to this? It is only because we enjoyed the wine so much that we are willing to put up with the tasteless monstrosity that is this label. “Proper” (!?!) Claret? Indeed.
Food Pairing Notes
Proper (British) mutton, proper leg of lamb, (ideally served with proper Yorkshire pudding).
Production
17,208 cases
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