2015 Blacksmith "C.L.R.T." Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (Previously $20)

SKU #1349930

We'll make you an offer you can't refuse... how about a delicious claret blend from Napa's prestigious Oakville appellation that sells for less than $20 bucks? With seductive aromas of dark fruits, baking spice, and cocoa, Blacksmith's "C.L.R.T." captures the complexity and quality of Oakville fruit without the premium Oakville price. Winemaker Matt Smith caught the wine bug while working in the lab at Beaulieu Vineyards back in the 90s. Since then, he's blended his science background with his passion for wine to create high-quality wines from his own urban winery in San Francisco's East Bay. Lucky for us, he's kept his operation small enough to still be able to offer incredible values.

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Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/1/2018 | Send Email
This is filled with both red and dark fruits along with hints of cedar, red licorice and mint. The mid-palate is all about balance and enough acidity to hold all that fruit in place so that the complexity shines through even at this young age. This is a serious value in Napa Cabernet.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/1/2018 | Send Email
I was simply blown away by the quality of the Blacksmith wines and couldn’t believe the prices being quoted as I was tasting them. Fruit for the 2015 C.L.R.T. (aka Claret) is predominantly from Oakville. It’s quintessential Napa Valley stuff: loamy earth, ripe plum, cassis, briary notes. The balance is striking, with beautifully refined structure and purity. Drinks way above its modest price point. Also check out Blacksmith’s 2015 Reserve Oakville Cabernet…simply stunning.

Additional Information:


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.