Our entry-level Cabernet blend, this vintage is composed of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec, and 7% Syrah. (You may know that before France started their AOC (appellation) system in the 1930s it was common, during the 1800s, to import Syrah from Hermitage to blend with the wines of Bordeaux. These hermitage wines often fetched higher prices in the English market than those which had not been improved.) This soft, easy-drinking wine is a good introduction to the vintage, and while it will improve over the course of two to five years, it is not a wine intended for long-term aging. The soft, plush nature of this Claret stems in part from the mild vintage, with no real hot spells. More than a third of it derives from the Jericho Canyon Vineyard, along with wines from the Somerston, Larkmead, and Snowden Vineyards, and 7% Merlot from the Hyde Vineyard.