Basel Cellars Claret (Cabernet Blend) 2016: Columbia Valley, Washington

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec

Region/History Notes: Columbia Valley sits in the Eastern desert side of Washington that gets less than 6” of rain per year! It also has more soil types in this one area than the rest of the US combined! Which means, it can grow virtually every grape imaginable. Unlike Oregon’s Pinot Noir, Washington doesn’t have one flagship grape for this reason. From Riesling to Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley grows it all! “Claret” is the name the British used for decades to refer to red wines from the Bordeaux region of France. Since California coined the term “Meritage” to refer to Bordeaux style blends, many producers, like Basel Cellars, use the term “Claret” to refer to a Bordeaux style red blend.

Tasting Notes: Bold, chocolatey flavors, leather, spice, and black cherries/plums and a hint of pepper and black tea. So much going on, and it’s also just so darn smooth. Perfect steak wine or just curl up after dinner and watch a movie kind of wine!