2001 Columbia Valley Claret

         The 2001  growing season was ideal!  There were no rains, no early frosts, or late cloudy weather to contend with.  If every year could be like 2001 we would write “perfect” and stop writing vintage reports.  Joe thinks 2001 was the best vintage since he has been in Washington.

         Although the deep, dark, black fruit flavors of the Claret are not as intense as the Cabernet’s, their intensity rivals any other vintages.  The Claret also offers the tastes of its other varietal components.  The American oak included in the aging offers added flavors of coffee and toast. 

          The 2001 Columbia Valley Claret (red wine) was released May 2004.  It is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec.  The fruit was sourced from Alder Ridge,
Ciel d’ Cheval, DuBrul, Klingele, Pepper Bridge, Sundance and Whitestone vineyards.  It was aged in 90% French oak and 10% American oak for 19 months, 10% of the oak was one vintage old.  The ideal consumption is 2 to 5 years from release date, but will develop for another 5-7 years.  The alcohol by volume is 14.2%, pH is 3.66, and titratable acidity is 0 .59g/ml.  It was bottled May 30, 2003


2001 Columbia Valley Claret
Best of Show, Washington State Wine Competition
Best Red, Washington State Wine Competition
Gold Medal, Washington State Wine Competition
Double Gold, San Francisco International Wine Competition
Gold, Indy International Wine Competition
Gold Medal, Northwest Enological Society

90/92 This is the wine that won Best of Show at the 2004 Washington State Fair. A terrific value, the wine is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 20% of the other four Bordeaux varieties blended in. Nicely balanced, the Claret is full of lush black fruit and sweet oak flavors;  Randy Buckner Wine Lovers Page (July 2004)

Outstanding!  How good is this wine? How about Best of Show at the Washington Wine Competition, double gold at the prominent San Francisco International Wine Competition and gold at the Indy International Wine Competition.  We concur with our top rating.  It’s a blend that revels aromas of oak, choclate and black tea and smooth flavors of ripe cherries and raspberries. --Wine Press Northwest (Fall 2004)

90 Wine & Spirits

Paul Gregett/Wine Adviser After tasting one too many ill-made, overpriced red wines, it was a genuine pleasure to pop the cork on this balanced, supple young blended red. All five Bordeaux varietals go into the blend, and the vineyards read like a list of who's who in Washington viticulture. Pretty berries and cherries are the stars of the show, and the wine does not try to lumber its way into the blockbuster category. Simply delicious. —P.G.   (7/28/2004)

87  Smooth and generous, a light-texured wine with ripe currant and sweet oak aromas and flavors, finishing with some refinement. --H.S. (9/302004)

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