Robert Karl 2002 Claret Red (Columbia Valley (WA))

The blend is 77% Cab, 12% Merlot, 11% Cab Franc and the alcohol, rather surprisingly, hits 15+%. This is a wonderful claret, with mixed red and blue fruits and berries, plenty of natural acid and no obvious oak. There is a flash of caramel and mocha at the end, but the flavors unwrap luxuriously in a series of gradient layers. Delivers a lot of quality for the dollars. 1,100 cases made. Paul Gregutt

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