2014 White Rock Napa Valley Claret (Previously $60)

SKU #1320011 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Claret Proprietary Red Wine, 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot has nice red and blackcurrant fruit, licorice and spice box in an elegant Bordeaux-like style. (RP)  (12/2016)


 A powerful, intense wine, White Rock's 2014 Red Blend Claret possesses good richness and big tannins that need time to settle. Ripe red cherry, plum, smoke, wild herbs and game lead into the exuberant finish. The 2014 is powerful and also at times rustic, but it is certainly not lacking in personality. (AG)  (12/2016)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "The 2014 vintage of Claret is a dense but violet hue, leading with black cherry, blueberry, and raspberry on the nose. I find notes of black tea, dried orange rind, and graphite balance the fruit on the nose, and evolve into blackberry and bramble. The mouthfeel is lush and velvet, with fine tannins. There is an element of slate along with cardamom and anise that leads to intriguing elements as the wine opens and evolves in the glass. The finish is a smooth cocoa that I find rather elegant with a long and lingering finish. Drink now or in the next 5-8 years. 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot from the White Rock estate vineyard. Aged 23 months in 32% new French oak from Taransaud, Sylvain, Darnajou, and Bossuet coopers. 761 cases produced."

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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 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.

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.


- 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.
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.