We were a tad suspicious when we were first offered this wine, since 2012 is a bit older than most current offerings. But, when poured, the wine still retained a purple rim--a youthful color--so we breathed more easily.
We needed the breath but the wine did not. The complex aromas spun easily from the glass, showing elements of dark red fruit, a touch of herbs, smoke, perhaps coffee. On the tongue, the wine was smooth, with few if any abrasive tannins, over a firm but balanced structure. This wine still has a few years left to mature, although our particular bottle never stood a chance.
"Claret" is an almost forgotten name for the red wines of Bordeaux. Well, forgotten on this side of the Pond anyway; derived from Medieval French, it was used by the British and still is, originally referring to the clarity (and thus the purity) of the wine.
Claret, then, is your clue to the blend of grapes: those of Bordeaux. The wine is about half Cabernet Sauvignon a third Malbec, an eighth Merlot, and enough Cabernet Franc to fill the bottle. This gives the wine the details in the aroma mentioned above.
This wine is well balanced, and is light enough to be enjoyed by itself. It will go well with all red meats and brown sauces. I might want to throw a couple of woody herbs into that sauce.
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