2016 Cabernet sauvignon, Claret
Item No. 2351 | In Stock - Ships in 2-3 Business Days

Claret was first used in popular English literature sometime before 1350. Claret, or Bordeaux as it is sometimes called, is a red wine, not too dark in color with a medium body, good fruit flavor and bouquet.

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2016 Cabernet sauvignon, Claret

By the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) the trade in French wine had reached amazing proportions. Ships of that time were rated at the number of tonnes (252 gallon casks of wine) they could carry. The wine fleet would sail for France in late autumn, returning before Christmas with "new wine." They would sail again after Easter in the spring, and return with "rack wine" of the same vintage. In 1372, the wine fleet consisted of some 200 ships, with average tonnage well over 50 tonnes per ship, for a total cargo of over 3 million gallons of wine that year. The English even had their own name for much of this wine. The French used the term clairet to refer to the light red wine of Bordeaux, before it was blended with heavier, darker red wine from elsewhere in France. It was this that the English came to call Claret. Jefferson1 wrote in the eighteenth century that Hermitage, Gaillac and other rich wines were freely blended into the Medocs of Bordeaux for body and color, even though the additions changed the character of the wines.  Wine writers of the period said that many Englishmen became so used to blended Bordeaux that they did not like the genuine article when they tasted it.  Perhaps there was justification for the practice in thin years because, after all, the Syrah of Hermitage is a great wine.  Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) was well acquainted with the many varieties of wine available in London, including wines of Bordeaux. He used the word Claret in The Merchant’s Tale of Canterbury Tales.  1 Thomas Jefferson on Wine by John R. Hailman


Vintage Notes

Yet another year of drought conditions began with our “rainy season” ending early, followed immediately by flowering fruit trees opening up before the end of January.  We received only about 75% of our usual rain.  Spring was long, cool, overcast and punctuated by several windy days during flowering that badly affected fruit set.  Shatter was evident in several of the vineyards we work with; by harvest, our Chardonnay crop was off by about 40% and our Syrah by 60%.  Growing season temperatures were steady and warm – perfect for developing the complex fruit flavors we look for, as well as preserving the acidity necessary for mouth-watering wine.  Harvest began in July, our earliest harvest date on record at BELL, and we were completely finished bringing in our red grapes by the first day of October, also a record.  To quote Anthony, “Young wines look to be of excellent quality with deep color and lovely fruit aromas, and initial analysis shows no serious impacts from the series of heat waves we experienced. Overall yields are down, but it is safe to say that while we will not have the expected quantity to sell in upcoming years, the quality will be exceptional.


Tasting Notes

Bell Claret is our drink now and enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon. Red raspberry, red currant, vanilla, and white pepper mingle with lightly toasted oak on the nose. The palate is soft with a very fine tannin structure. The red fruits carry onto the palate along with a spice cabinet of flavors. A graceful wine designed to be lighter in texture and more approachable to enjoy with a larger variety of dishes such as chicken, pork, and lighter fare rather than the traditional beef.


Technical Analysis

Varietal:       Cabernet Sauvignon (85%), Petit Verdot (8%),

                     Cabernet Franc (3%), Syrah (2%), Malbec (1%),

                      Merlot (1%)

Appellation:  Napa Valley (100%)

Total Acid:   0.71 gm/100ml

pH:               3.65

Alcohol:       14.7%

Aging:         19 months, 94% French Oak,

                    6% American, 25% new

Bottle Date:  June 2017

Production:   609 cases

Additional Information:
View PDF FileWine Notes

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2016 Cabernet sauvignon, Claret | Item No. 2351
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