In this issue, we continue the dialoge with a few more winemakers about their favorite blended red wines. If you missed the tasting at the Cary House this month, you would sampled some amazing wines and had a chance to talk to the winemakers about these wines in a very cool setting! Be sure to check out this monthly event every first Wednesday night from 6pm – 8pm at the Cary House Hotel in Placerville. It is free and we even serve dessert!
This month, Linda Neal from Mellowood Vinyard was there serving her Red Hat wine. Linda said,
“ I love the Red Hat blend for many reasons. First, it is just a delicious wine. The blending of the older vintage (right now we are selling the 2009/2010 blend) adds a ripeness that allows me to sell some 2010 wine a bit sooner. The Zinfandel softens the Syrah, while maintaining the bold tannin structure. Most important for me, it is one more wine that lengthens my visit with my tasting room guests.”
Ted Bechard of Bechard Winery was also on hand pouting two of his favorite red blends. ”I was pouring two of our red blends from our current lineup on Wednesday. The first pour was the 2010 Bechard Cadeaux de la Terre ( gifts from the earth). This wine is a blend of Grenache, 55%, Petite Sirah, 20, Syrah, 20, and Mourvèdre, 5, from our estate vineyard. This selection is a Rhone style blend aged in French oak to accent the fine cherry and strawberry characteristics of the Grenache, smooth mid palate, soft tannins and a long silky finish.”
Ted continued “The second pour was our Sierra Fino blend. Sierra Fino is a non-vintage blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and bait of Grenache. Aged in more neutral French and American oak, Sierra Fino is a blend we make to display the highlights of the heavier Rhone varietals grown here in Fair Play. Pleasant dark fruit and oak characteristics, again the emphasis on smooth mid palate and a long finish. And a good time was had by all.”
Finally, I spoke to Michel Prod’hon from Mount Aukum Winery. Always the artist, he said “The art of blending takes varitals that can stand alone but significantly improve when they are blended, bringing out the best of each. One can take 40% Syrah, 30% Petite Sirah, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10 % Merlot, Rhones and Bordeaux not traditionally put together, and come up with Michel Special Melange, Mount Aukum winery’s soon to be released adventure in taste. Doing this gives the consumer the best of all worlds!”
I hope you have enjoyed this journey through some of our winemakers favorite red wine blends. Be sure to check out the Winemaker’s favorite Rhone Wines next month! And remember, you always get an additional 5% off these wines when you purchase them in the tasting room!