2002 Columbia Valley Claret

          The 2002 vintage was one of the great classic Washington vintages. If you compare the average heat-unit curve for Washington vineyards to the 2002 curve, they are practically identical. We enjoyed an excellent harvest. The Merlot from DuBrul was the best we have harvested; excellent in maturation with perfect acid balance and a deep purple color.  This was a year of deep color compounds called anthocyanins. The Cabernets marched into the winery lot after lot, all consisting of perfectly matured fruit with exciting, outspoken flavors.

         Similar to the 2001 Claret, this dark ruby wine has layers of espresso, mocha, chocolate, blackberry and a touch of vanilla on the nose. These expressive flavors explode on your palate with chewy black cherry and plum, finishing with a hint of spice.

          The 2002 Columbia Valley Claret (red wine) was released May 2005.  It is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc.  The fruit was sourced from Alder Ridge, McKinley Springs, DuBrul, Phinny Hill, Sundance and Tapteil vineyards. It was aged in 80% French oak and 20% American oak for 20 months, 70% of the oak was new.  The ideal consumption is 2 to 5 years from release date, but will develop for another 5-7 years.  The alcohol by volume is 14.2%, pH is 3.66, and titratable acidity is 0 .59g/ml.  It was bottled August 30, 2004.

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AWARDS
2002 Columbia Valley Claret
Platinum, Wine Press Northwest
Double Gold Medal, San Francisco International Wine Competition
Gold Medal, Starwine Competition
Silver Medal, Washington State Wine Competition
Silver Medal, West Coast Wine Competition
Silver Medal, LA County Fair
Silver Medal, Jerry Mead

REVIEWS
Outstanding! Wine Press Northwest The Gunselmans continue to earn respect and gain medals with their red program. This blend is dominated by Cab Sauv but shows its Cab Franc in its nose of cranberry, joined by light coffee, cedar, blackberries and cherries. The same beautiful fruit shows lush consistency and delicious acidity. Restrained oak and some vanilla extract in the background help hold the fruit alongside the sweet tannins, leading into a finish of baker’s chocolate. --Wine Press Northwest (Summer 2005)

91 Wine & Spirits Robert Karl’s Claret, a blend of cabernet sauvignon (77 percent), merlot (12) and cabernet franc (11), is a Washington tough in its youth, a burl of tomato, soy and mineral scents. It’s ripe and earthy, with generous cherry and plum that keeps its focus despite its ripeness, with plenty of wood on the back end to give the wine structure and a nutskin bitterness. Cellar it a least a year before uncorking for something smoked, like roast turkey. (August 2005)

2001 Columbia Valley Claret

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