2008 Dehlinger Russian River Valley Claret

SKU #1080050 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Claret (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) is a gorgeous wine. Blackberries, cassis, graphite, spices and menthol are some of the nuances that emerge from the glass. The wine shows terrific intensity all the way through to the finish. The tannins could use another year to soften, but this is nevertheless an impressive showing. In 2008 the Claret includes fruit from one of the estate's oldest parcels, originally planted in 1975. According to Tom Dehlinger, during blending trials this juice didn't seem to fit in with the Estate Cabernet, so it was used for the Claret. I am not sure if its inclusion is the reason why, but the Claret is absolutely gorgeous in 2008. This is a beautiful wine for the money and easily one of the top values in California Cabernet Sauvignon. (RP)  (2/2012)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. Highly aromatic nose combines red- and blackcurrant, dried flowers and pipe tobacco, plus a hint of mocha. Sappy and precise, offering gently sweet red and dark berry flavors and a hint of bitter chocolate. Shows good depth of flavor with no excess fat. The gently tannic finish offers very good clarity and an echoing blackcurrant note. Dehlinger told me that all of the fruit that normally goes into his East Ridge bottling was included in this year's Claret. (ST)  (5/2011)

89 points Wine Spectator

 Shares the suppleness and subtlety of the Cabernet in a more restrained, subdued style. Full-bodied, with red currant, plum and fresh tobacco leaf notes and a pleasing finish. (JL)  (12/2011)

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Price: $39.99
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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 M├ędoc 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.

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.


- 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:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.