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Robert Foley Vineyards Claret 2003

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP96
  • WE96
  • WS95
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • RP95
  • RP99
  • WS96
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The top wine here is the classic 2003 Claret, a gorgeously proportioned, opaque purple-colored effort boasting a big, sweet nose of smoky meats, creme de cassis, coffee, and dark plums. Dense and opulent, with superb concentration, full body, high glycerin, decent acidity, and ripe tannin, this a superb mouthful of wine that can be approached now or cellared for 12-15 years.
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Nearly 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, this firm young wine showcases Napa Cab at its best. It’s powerful in cassis and mocha flavors, with complex spice notes. The considerable new oak fits in fine given the wine’s size. Extraordinarily smooth and lush, it’s beautiful now, but has the structure to age for a decade. What a beauty.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Remarkably rich, supple and harmonious, with a generous array of spicy currant, blackberry, exotic spice and hazelnut with hints of mocha and chocolate. For all its richness and complexity, this is a delightful wine to drink both now and through the next decade.
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Robert Foley Vineyards

Robert Foley Vineyards

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Robert Foley Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
2003 Claret
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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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.

LSB116983_2003 Item# 116983

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