The 2012 Bonny Doon A Proper Claret is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petite Verdot, 8% Tannat and 1% Petite Sirah sourced from more than one California grape growing AVA. A Claret is an English term for a Red wine produced with a mix of the traditional Bordeaux grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec and if you notice the Proper Claret isn’t exactly using just the traditional grapes. Why, well because this is a Bonny Doon wine and they pride themselves on not doing things in the “approved” method. There is always a new and quite possibly better way to do the job. The label shows a proper English gentleman reading in this proper English library while wearing a proper English smoking jacket, but if you look closely he is also wearing red fishnet stockings. The Proper Claret is sort of a traditional Bordeaux wine, but not really. The blend is aged in huge wood tanks “on lees,” so it does not pick up much flavoring from the oak. The alcohol content is 13.2%.
The color is burgundy red. The nose is a little dusty, with red fruit, spearmint gum and pepper. A nicely balanced wine with good length and solid fruit flavor. It starts with ripe cherry and blackberry, savory herbs and black pepper. The mid palate adds blueberry, tea and a solid brush of minerality. The finish lasts and lasts and lasts.
The Bonny Doon A Proper Claret is a very different take on Cabernet Sauvignon based wine blends, it does not taste like anything coming out of Bordeaux, nor does it taste a great deal like your typical California Cab. Gone is the chocolate and vanilla, along with oak spice and in its place is pepper, minerality and savory treats. The fruit flavors are lean for California, which means they are still plump and juicy, but without going overboard. This wine can be found selling for a few bucks either way of $15 and for a wine that goes its own way and makes its own statement, that is a great price.