2003 Columbia Valley Claret

          The 2003 vintage marks our commitment to Horse Heaven Hills, Washington’s newest appellation. The vines we planted with the Beightol family at Phinny Hill and the Andrews family on McKinley Springs matured and produced surprisingly wonderful grapes for such young vines. The fruit was ripe with concentrated flavors. It was one of the warmest vintages in Washington’s (record keeping) history.

         The 2003 Claret is ripe and generous with chewy cherry fruit backed up by those wonderful flavors of mocha and bakers chocolate.

          The 2003 Columbia Valley Claret (red wine) is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, and 10% Malbec.  The fruit was sourced from our estate vines at McKinley Springs and Phinny Hill as well as Alder Ridge vineyard. It was aged in 80% French oak and 20% American oak for 22 months, 70% of the oak was new.  The ideal consumption is 2 to 5 years from release date, but this wine will develop for another 5-7 years.  The alcohol by volume is 14.8%. It was bottled September 15, 2005.

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AWARDS
Gold Medal, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Silver, Northwest Wine Summit
Silver Medal, LA County Fair

REVIEWS
Exceptional, Northwest Palate Beautiful, inviting aromas of ripe red fruits with wafts of mint and toast. In the mouth, the wine delivers intense layers of juicy red and black fruit, light spice and pepper, and plenty of furry tannins. Seamless, integrated, and smooth, this could be cellared for future enjoyment, or pair now with rabbit stewed with aromatic vegetables. Excellent value.

Wine Press Northwest There’s something classy about ordering a Claret, and Spokane boutique winemaker, Dr. Joe Gunselman makes this one with the classic Bordeaux blend of Cab Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Inviting dusty cherries, blueberries, cranberries and spices lead into a nice dinner table companion with dark cherries, nice acidity to balance that fruit and a note of chocolate in the finish.

90 Wine & Spirits This Cabernet-based blend leads with tempting fruit aromas. Its flavors are just as inviting, its black cherry core accented by cocoa and dark fruit-skin tannins. 

90 Paul Gregutt Wine Enthusiast (Editor’s Choice- wines that offer excellent quality at a price above the Best Buy range, or a wine at any price with unique qualities that merit special attention.) This mini-meritage is like a lighter version of the winery’s reserve. You get meritage style and quality at a mutt wine price. Tight with mixed berries, plums, spice, hints of pepper and clove.

2002 Claret
2001 Claret

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