Vail Finds from the Vine: Newton Claret brings out its best
VAIL, Colorado -Sometimes a Vail Valley Find from the Vine can be an old standard that needs to be revisited. The 2006 Newton Claret is the best yet for this wine, so let’s take a closer look. True Napa merlot flavors dominate, with herbal dark berry, light mint/cedar, and a balanced, nicely tannic finish. The blend is 43 percent merlot, 41 percent cabernet sauvignon, 9 percent cabernet franc, 4 percent petit verdot, and 3 percent syrah – fairly typical for the Newton Claret. The cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot give the wine its tannins and structure, while the cabernet franc and merlot contribute the herbal and tobacco notes. The syrah adds earthiness and some dark berry fruit. The syrah and cabernet franc also show up as a bready, blueberry/blackberry combo. All and all, the wine, with all this going on, melds seamlessly. This wine has the flavors of California and some of the structure of a Bordeaux. Do not believe the “merlot is boring and bland” nay-sayers, they were the same ones pooh-poohing pinot noir several years ago as being light and wimpy. Like any classic wine, there are good ones and bad ones, with some great ones sprinkled in for good measure. At $24, the 2006 Newton Claret counts as a great one.Su Hua and Peter Newton founded the winery in 1977. The 120 acres of vineyards are located on the lower reaches of Spring Mountain. Su Hua, as winemaker, aged the 2006 Claret for 15 months in older French oak barrels, giving the wine nice richness without dominant oak characteristics. Pair this wine with a lovely New York steak or grilled lamb loin. Drink this now, or age it in your cellar for up to five years. The silky tannins add to the wine, I see no reason to let them mellow for more than five years.Jarrett Osborn is the wine buyer for Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards.
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