Blending is a very common winemaking practice and one that is used to construct some of the greatest wines in the world. Ever had a Bordeaux, a Super Tuscan or a Meritage from California? If you answered yes, then you’ve experienced a blended wine and know that they can be incredible. More commonly used with reds than whites, winemakers typically blend different grapes together with the goal of bringing more harmony, depth and complexity to their finished wine. It’s a little known fact that many “varietally labeled” wines (Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.) are actually blends; for instance, in California, a wine labeled Cabernet Sauvignon actually only has to contain 75% of said grape.
I could go on and on, but that would leave us nothing to discuss at the actual event! Stop by to taste and learn about some great wines for our “Free on Friday” tasting this week and every week at your favorite little wine store.
1. 2010 Kanonkop Kadette Proprietary Red Wine (Western Cape, South Africa)
Kanonkop is one of South Africa’s oldest and most dependable red wine producers. This wine sees South Africa’s hybrid Pinotage grape blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It is a true taste of South Africa with classic notes of smoke and herb accented berries along with more subtle notes of dark chocolate and spice. For under $15, it magically melds Old and New World wine characteristics together wonderfully.
2. 2010 Donati Family Claret (Paicines, California)
The Paicines AVA was a new one to us, but we absolutely loved this wine. Located a bit east of Monterey, this isolated region is relatively cool and the Donati family is the only winery in the region. Their Claret is a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 13% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot. With a Bordeaux-like nose of red and dark berries, tobacco and spices, it has a California-like palate of creamy fruits, vanilla and spice box. It is a ton of wine for the money!
3. 2009 Chateau Jouclary Cuvée Tradition (Cabardes, France)
Cabardes is one of the AOC’s of France’s Languedoc zone and it is quite unique, as it is one of the few regions in all of France where producers can blend Atlantic and Mediterranean varietals together. Thus, this wine is blends 50% Merlot with 25% each Syrah and Grenache to create a wine that tastes like a hypothetical Cotes du Rhone/Bordeaux blend. Really dark fruited, earth and minerally, this one really likes big hunks of grilled meat.
All tasting wines are 10% off by the bottle or 15% off if you buy six or more of them.