Wine Advocate 89 points - The ruby/purple-hued 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Claret, a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest small dollops of Syrah, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Franc, is a delicious, sexy, fruit-forward, elegant, silky smooth wine that is meant for near-term drinking (over the next 4-5 years). Notes of underbrush, tobacco leaf, red and black currants and a touch of volcanic ash emerge from this long, round, easygoing red. This is the type of consumer-friendly wine we need to see more of. (Oct 2013)
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Wine maker notes
Named by the English centuries ago, Claret was originally a red wine blend of the lighter Bordeaux and darker red wines from elsewhere in France . Our Napa Valley Claret is blended from select barrel lots of our Napa Cabernet. Deep ruby in color, with rich fruit aromas - including licorice, plum, and violets - on the nose. In the mouth it is lively and bright, with toasty oak flavors, supported by supple, elegant tannins. This wine is approachable now, while still having a tannin structure that allows the wine to develop for several years.
Yountville is in the center of the Napa valley, the area George C. Yount first settled after receiving the entire valley as a grant from Mariano Vallejo, who owned thousands of acres under the Mexican government. Yount built a blockhouse and mill three miles north of here. He also planted the valley’s first grapes in 1838. Thirty-two years later, Groezinger’s enormous brick winery (now Vintage 1870, a honeycomb of small specialty shops), stood beside the train station in the center of town. Further up the valley, construction of the Christian Brothers and Charles Krug wineries indicates that the region was already recognized nationally as a prime location for growing spectacular grapes, producing glorious wines.
Situated off the beaten path, just south of Yountville, is an exquisite pale stone winery, shrouded by oak, bordered to the south by Hopper Slough, surrounded by vineyard and cloaked in quiet. After looking for twenty years, winemaker Anthony Bell found the perfect place to produce the wines he had long dreamed of - limited production, hand crafted wines that showcase the concept of ”terroir”. In 1998, Bell Wine Cellars opened its doors to the public to share the beauty of the place, and the wine.
In June 2002 - Ron Berberian, former California wine wholesaler, and Alex Spanos, owner of the San Diego Chargers, formed Spanos Berberian Winery, LLC. The venture acquired interest in the brand name and assets of Bell Wine Cellars, and a new partnership was formed with Anthony.
Nestled between the stacks of aromatic barrels and towering stainless steel tanks, guests can taste the signature Bell Cabernet, at the intimate, elegant tasting room. We also serve Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah, encompassing a wide range of flavors, from vineyards both near and far afield.