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Robert Foley Vineyards Claret 1999

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP93
  • WS93
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

RP 93
The Wine Advocate

There are 400 cases of this blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Pride Mountain Vineyard's winemaker, Robert Foley. Sadly, most of the 1998 (which I reviewed in issue #141) was destroyed in a warehouse fire. The only bottles that survived were those from his personal cellar and a handful of bottles provided as samples to distributors. The opaque purple-colored 1999 is a seamless classic, offering a sweet perfume of coffee, mocha, graphite, black cherries, licorice, and cassis. The wine reveals sweet tannin, beautiful purity, and a gorgeous layered texture. It should drink well for 15+ years.

WS 93
Wine Spectator

Dark in color, with a sleek body and tight beam of spicy, herb-laced cherry, plum and currant, this Cabernet blend firms up nicely on the long, persistent finish, where the tannins anchor the flavors. Shows great depth and complexity. Drink now through 2014. 500 cases made.

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Robert Foley Vineyards

Robert Foley Vineyards

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Robert Foley Vineyards, , California
Robert Foley Vineyards
Robert Foley Vineyards in Napa Valley is a small family owned and operated winery headed by winemaker, Bob Foley. Bob has been a winemaker for over 30 years, and produces wines from many varietals, including the lesser known favorite, Charbono. Bob is known for making deep, dark wines with remarkable depth and complexity.

Foley Vineyards' new cave and wine facility finished recently on Howell Mountain.

Carneros

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Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. Its close proximity to the San Francisco Peninsula and the San Pablo Bay is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo Bay create a cooling effect ideal for producing wines with crisp acidity and balanced flavors.

This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and more recently, Old-World style Syrah. While more delicate than most wines from neighboring regions, these are firmly structured, complex, and full of flavor. Carneros is also an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

LSB116981_1999 Item# 116981

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