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Guenoc Victorian Claret 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from North Coast, California
    13.5% ABV
    • WE90
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    5.0 1 Ratings
    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The 2012 Victorian Claret expresses rich aromas black cherry, rhubarb, star anise, and clove spices on the nose. It is full bodied with rounded tannins, and showcases vibrant flavors of licorice and pepper on the finish.

    Blend: 43% Petite Sirah, 30% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec

    Critical Acclaim

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    Guenoc

    Guenoc Estate Vineyards

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    Guenoc Estate Vineyards, North Coast, California
    Image of winery
    Located 90 miles north of San Francisco, the 23,000 acre Guenoc Estate, claiming some of the oldest vineyards in California, includes the most northwestern area of Napa Valley, all of Guenoc Valley, and the southern extremes of Lake County. From 1888 to 1906 the Guenoc Estate was owned by internationally famous actress and vintner Lillie Langtry, who vowed to make "claret of the finest kind known in the country" in her California valley and placed her portrait on her estate produced bottles of wine. Today, the George Watts' portrait of Lillie Langtry has become the famous cameo trademark of Guenoc wines. In 1981, Guenoc Valley was recognized by the federal government as a separate and distinctive viticultural area, the first appellation under single-proprietorship in the United States. Traditional winemaking techniques and utilization of the best of French oak and highest quality stainless steel equipment allow winemaker Malcolm Seibly to create wines which continue to garner championship awards in both national and international competitions.

    North Coast

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    Encompassing the grape-growing regions located north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano. Napa and Sonoma get all of the attention, but there are a few other counties producing great wine in Northern California. Two notable examples are Mendocino and Lake County, the northernmost winegrowing regions in the state. These AVAs are very different, both from their neighbors to the south and from one another.

    Mendocino benefits from the cooling fog of the Pacific Ocean and is able to successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. There is a significant focus here on organic viticulture. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc are the dominant varieties. Both regions are excellent sources of high-quality but affordable California wines in a wide range of styles.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    RPT25480395_2012 Item# 133916