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Newton Claret 1999

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WS90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

A delicious blend of Cabernet and Merlot from one of our favorite California wineries, this wine has always been an amazing value. It has juicy layers of raspberries, cherries and chocolate strawberries. It is a sexy wine that invites one to taste it again and again. Listed in Wine Spectators Top 100 Wines of 2002

Newton Claret is mainly from the young vines on the estate. Because of their youth, they produce grapes with soft tannins, hence they are mixed with pressed wines of older vines to have structure. They are aged in French oak barrels in the cool caves for two years.

1999 was a difficult year in the beginning, but ended up textbook perfect—cool and windy in the spring up in the mountain, but warmer on the valley floor. Towards the end of summer, it was really rather lovely everywhere and the grapes, particularly from the young vines, ripened early and quickly. Thus, the tannin is soft and the wine is inviting.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
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Newton

Newton Vineyard

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Newton Vineyard, , California
Newton
Newton was founded in 1977 by English businessman Peter Newton and his Chinese wife Su Hua. Peter Newton was already renowned as a pioneer of winemaking in the Napa Valley, having founded the Sterling Winery near Calistoga in the 1960s. The Newtons transformed one square mile of rolling hillside in Spring Mountain into one of the Napa Valley’s most prestigious estates, whose wines have graced the official dinners of several US presidents.

The Newton estate encompasses 170 acres of prime Napa Valley terroir, distributed over four separate, wholly owned vineyards: Spring Mountain, Yountville, Mount Veeder and Carneros.

Newton is renowned for producing wines that are uniquely characterful expressions of varietals emblematic of the Napa Valley, notably Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Working patiently with nature, we are committed to precision viticulture and winemaking techniques yielding wines that are acclaimed for their balance, harmony and full, abundant flavors.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

PAR200118_1999 Item# 46344

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