2011 Ramey Napa Valley Claret (Previously $35)

SKU #1127836 89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Claret is round, fresh, fruity and soft. It is a competently made red to drink with a steak or stew over the next 3-4years. David Ramey has long had one of the most impressive resumes for any California winemaker. He worked at Chateau Petrus in Bordeaux and for Christian Moueix at Dominus. He also consulted and worked for a number of high end Napa Valley wineries....Ramey’s early experience was primarily with Bordeaux varietals, so it’s not surprising that he continues to do a stunning job with his assortment of Bordeaux-based wines. As one might expect, the 2011s are soft, easy-to-drink efforts that many consumers may find more appealing than the 2010s, which are much bigger, richer and more classic.  (4/ 2013)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright purple. Fresh, clove-accented red berry and cherry aromas show an energetic, sharply focused personality. Youthful, deep redcurrant and cherry-vanilla flavors pick up sweetness with air. Quite open, with no rough edges. Finishes with good breadth and length, leaving a subtle smoky note behind.  (6/ 2013)

Antonio Galloni

 Sweet tobacco, plums, mint and anise all meld together in the 2011 Claret. An attractive, mid-weight wine, the 2011 is best enjoyed over the next handful of years. Savory herbs, crushed flowers and a hint of French oak linger on the finish. The 2011 naturally lacks the structure and depth of the very best vintages, but the super-classic flavor profile is quite appealing.  (2/ 2014)

Connoisseurs Guide

 There are teasing suggestions of richness and a bit of complexity to be found here as hints of olives, a touch of tea leaf and a veneer of sweet oak join with a nice, if slightly subdued element of black cherry fruit. The wine is weighty but does not give itself up to tannin, and its slight, concluding, toothpicky pucker should be made moot by service with food or a few years of age.  (8/ 2013)

K&L Notes

This is Ramey's best value Cabernet Sauvignon blend. "We call it our roast chicken Cabernet as opposed to our steak Cabernet," the winery says. With Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot Syrah and Cab Franc.

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Price: $27.99

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By: Trey Beffa |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 5/27/2013  | Send Email
Not exactly a typical Bordeaux Blend, the 2011 Napa Claret is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Syrah and 2% Cabernet Franc. The Claret is made in a style to drink right away and to be enjoyed with food. It is a lighter, softer style red that shows lots of spice, sweet herbs and earth. This wine is a nice change of pace and will match well with roasted or grilled chicken.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5