Although we love all the wines we craft, we hold a special place in our hearts for the Scheid Claret Reserve. Our Bordeaux blend receives an inordinate amount of attention, from the specially selected vineyard rows to the careful sorting of the hand-harvested fruit to the finest oak barrels. It is an opportunity for Winemaker Dave Nagengast to use the tools of a vintage to craft a full-bodied, richly flavored wine that is integrated in perfect harmony. Using the five Bordeaux varietals, Dave has total freedom to choose and blend only the best of the best, influenced only by the unique characteristics of the vintage. Our 2008 Claret is characterized by concentrated aromas of black cherries and blackberries with a hint of licorice and a warm earthiness. The dense flavors and balanced tannins integrate beautifully for a long, layered finish. This wine may be enjoyed now, while further aging will only enhance the depth and complexity.
The 2008 growing season was quite challenging, particularly in our southern vineyards where the old adage “small crops get smaller” certainly held true. The benefit to the wine was that although the grape yields were lighter than average, the boatload of lush fruit flavors and intensity we expect from our Bordeaux varietals was there in spades. The vineyard rows for each of the five varietals are chosen and marked at the beginning of the farm year and given extra-special attention throughout the growing season. Each variety is handpicked at optimum ripeness and maturity and several different lots of each variety are made. Only the best lots make the final cut and are blended to craft our Reserve Claret.
33% Petit Verdot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec, 13% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot
Upon delivery to the winery, the grapes were destemmed, crushed, and fermented in small lots in open top fermenters. Over the next two weeks, the firm cap of skins and seeds that bubble up and form on the surface during red fermentation was gently punched down 3 times a day. Punching down gives the skins as much contact with the fermenting wine as possible, allowing the color and the phenols from the skins to be transferred to the wine. The wine was barreled into a combination of small oak barrels and aged 32 months before bottling. Throughout the aging process, each barrel was checked weekly and only the most highly rated barrels made it into the final blend. The final selection was bottled unfiltered to preserve the tannin structure and aromatics. After bottling, the wine was laid down for an additional 26 months before release.