2002 R.V.'s Fine Claret

Some History:

This lovely Bordeaux-style blend includes estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.  Now known as our Test Pilot F-86 Sabre Jet blend, in 2002 it was still named for R.V. Garrod, who immigrated with his parents from England in 1892 as one of the original Garrod family who purchased the first part of the ranch you know today.  As a grown man (and Grandfather!), R.V. savored Claret of an evening, honoring his British heritage and the way Englishmen referred to wines from that part of France.  When we first made a Bordeaux-style blend, memories of Grandpa Garrod's Claret came to mind.  You can make your own memories now with this special library release! 

Tasting Notes:

Rich garnet in the glass, leading into a nose reminiscent of dried plums, blueberries, raspberries, and - yes - dark grapes! The palate finds ripe Bing cherries, lush berries laced with a kiss of cassis, and richly tanned leather with hints of fine pipe tobacco. The velvety, smooth finish lingers with the wine's easily elegant structdure. (02/2008)

Harvest & Cellar:

The grapes were picked by hand, destemmed, and ermented in small lots with hand punchdown four times a day. After pressing, the wine went through malolactic fermentation and 22 months of barrel aging. The final blend (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 24% Merlot) was made in the second year of aging. 280 cases bottled in August 2004. 13.8% ABV.


With a warmer than usual February, bud break came early, in the first week of March.  Two weeks later, the 80% of normal annual rains ended.  May and June were warmer than normal, giving the vines a good start.  After that, the growing season was long, dry and mild, with only a few brief heat spikes moderated by the cool climate.  Thus, the Bordeaux varieties have fully ripened flavors. Tannins are highly extractable and color is intense.  Truly, a fine vintage.