Cabernet Sauvignon, Claret, Napa Valley

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.

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