Noble Vines is a Lodi winery that names each of their bottles after the particular clone used. (The exception is the 1 Red Blend.) When I've talked about grape clones in the past, people have gotten concerned that these are either knockoffs, or genetically modified plants, or something else strange. But the reality is well-known to anyone that's ever taken a cutting of a plant and raised it in a jar of water on the windowsill.
The 337 clone comes from a specific vine in Bordeaux, selected for disease resistance and performance in a certain soil type. It's a newer clone that drives the big, fruit-forward style of red wine that is currently very popular. Cuttings can be taken from that vine and grafted on to other rootstock in France and around the world, and as those vines grow, new cuttings can be made and entire vineyards can be established. Eventually these vines may drift away from their original plant, and certainly environmental variables have a major impact on the wine that is made. But clones are a great way to remove some of the unknowns and establish reliable plants.
2010 Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon
77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, 5% Petite Sirah
$15, 14.5% abv.
Red cherry and raspberry aromas, with an underlying scent of plum. Firm tannins and a mouth drying finish. The flavors are dominated by red cherry, with smaller hints of cassis, coffee, and leather. Decanting is recommended, and with some air the tannins are softened and the wine is ready to be enjoyed with a nice grilled burger or rack of ribs. Keep this one in mind for barbecues this summer.
Note: This wine was provided as a sample.