Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Claar Winner

It's not often I go on about an American Cabernet. Most are too extracted and huge for my tastes. So Claar Cellars' 2001 Cabernet-Merlot blend came as a surprise to me.

Claar's located in Washington's Columbia Valley. Washington's not a state you associate with Cab, making this wine's success even more of a surprise. It's beautifully understated, the way Napa Cabs would be if everyone down there weren't so insane for fruit and power. The palate shows currants, purple grapes, spice and broad tannins, with a touch of candy in the background. The 13.7% alcohol level keeps everything at an agreeable level and makes the wine a welcome addition to dinner, as opposed to bullying all the food off the table. And it's only about $15.

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