VERTICAL: Claret 1999-2010 12pk 750ml
1999 Claret – 93 points, Robert Parker Jr.
There are 400 cases of this blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Pride Mountain Vineyard's winemaker, Robert Foley. Sadly, most of the 1998 (which I reviewed in issue #141) was destroyed in a warehouse fire. The only bottles that survived were those from his personal cellar and a handful of bottles provided as samples to distributors. A seamless classic, the opaque purple-colored 1999 offers a sweet perfume of coffee, mocha, graphite, black cherries, licorice, and cassis. The wine reveals sweet tannin, beautiful purity and a gorgeous layered texture. It should drink well for 15+ years.
2000 Claret – 96 points, Robert Parker Jr.
Potentially the "Cabernet Sauvignon of the vintage" Foley's 2000 Claret (80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot) is an amazing effort for this irregular vintage. It possesses a saturated black/purple color, great elegance and richness as well as amazing precision and extraordinary purity. Aromas of smoke, licorice, incense, black currant liqueur, and spice box are followed by a full-bodied, satiny smooth wine with a 45+ second finish. This incredible 2000 is a tribute to Bob Foley's talents.
2001 Claret – 99 points, Robert Parker Jr.
The virtually perfect 2001 Claret (80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot) has more of everything. A tour de force in winemaking, it possesses extraordinary concentration, intensity, purity, and ripeness, yet retains an elegant style. With a spectacular perfume of blackberry liqueur, cassis, acacia flowers, graphite, espresso roast, and chocolate as well as a 60-second finish, this long, dense 2001 is still primary, but already fun to drink. Anticipated maturity: 2006- 2020.
2002 Claret – 96 points, Robert Parker Jr.
A classic example of a Bordeaux blend, the 2002 Claret possesses an inky/blue/purple color as well as a fabulous perfume of graphite, crème de cassis, smoke, and licorice. It hits the palate with a full-bodied, unctuous texture, tremendous purity, and moderately high tannin in the 40+ second finish. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2018.
2003 Claret – 96 points, Robert Parker Jr.
The top wine here is the classic 2003 Claret, a gorgeously proportioned, opaque purple-colored effert boasting a big, sweet nose of smoky meats, crème de cassis, coffee, and dark plums. Dense and opulent, with superb concentration, full body, high glycerin, decent acidity, and ripe tannin, this a superb mouthful of wine that can be approached now or cellared for 12-15 years.
2004 Claret – 95 points, Robert Parker Jr.
The inky/purple-hued, seamless 2004 Claret boasts gorgeous aromas of crème de cassis, blackberries, smoke, licorice, espresso roast, and spring flowers. With sensational concentration, full body, a voluptuous mouthfeel, decent acidity, and sweet tannin, it can be drunk now and over the next 10-15 years.
2005 Claret – 94 points, Robert Parker Jr.
The prodigious 2005 Claret possesses a dense purple color in addition to beautiful aromas of crème de cassis, smoke, graphite, and cedar. Full-bodied, opulent, and voluptuously textured with superb depth and purity in addition to a savory mouthfeel, and surprisingly fleshy, forward personality, it should last 10-15 years, but who will be able to resist it for that long?
2006 Claret – 94 points, Wine Spectator
Smooth, rich and complex, this is full-bodied, with firm, focused currant, sage and dusty berry fruit that runs deep with concentration, unfolding to reveal blackberry, mineral and light cedary oak flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2010 through 2016.
2007 Claret – 98 points, Robert Parker Jr.
The extraordinary 2007 Claret, which is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine, displays inky notes of lead pencil shavings, pen ink, creme de cassis, blackberry, incense, and licorice. The wine is super-pure and super-rich, an extraordinarily full-bodied powerhouse of a Cabernet Sauvignon that should evolve for 15 or more years. Its sweetness of tannin and headiness already make it accessible.
2008 Claret – 96 points, Robert Parker Jr.
The 2008 Claret (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) has that ethereal nose of spring flowers, boysenberry, blueberry, black currant, and spice. Following that seductive aromatic display, Foley’s brilliance is again exhibited in the mouthfeel of this seamless wine, which has full-bodied flavors, no hard edges, gorgeous layers of fruit, and loads of complexity already, but is still a youthful wine with its best days ahead of it. This is brilliant winemaking, as some of us have come to expect from Bob Foley, and it should age well for 15-20 years (2010-2030).
2009 Claret – 94 points, Wine Spectator
A classy, stylish wine, smooth and creamy, delivering a tasty mix of red berry, raspberry, currant and mocha, with touches of cedar, forest floor and roasted herb. Ends with fleshy, fine-grained tannins that give the flavors just enough traction.
2010 Claret – 96 points, Robert Parker Jr.
Foley’s finest wine is modeled after Pride Mountain’s Claret. The 2010 Claret (80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot) boasts fabulous aromas of licorice, espresso beans, blueberries, blackberries and subtle smoky oak. With full-bodied texture, terrific purity and layers of juicy fruit and glycerin, this brilliant, full throttle, mouth-coating red can be enjoyed now as well as over the next 15+ years.