2006 Blending Trials

100% delicious[ Mike live-blogging our blending trials, Saturday. – Ziraud ]

Cab Sav Solo: Unimpressive, oakey beast

Merlot Solo: Varietally correct with a flavor slump in the middle

Cab Franc Solo: Intriguing acids and nose, impressive possibilities

[ all blend recipes Cab Sauv / Merlot / Cab Franc – Z ]

50/30/20: aboriginal, not meaty enough, war, oaky, ripe? but somehow… lifeless.

40/30/30: the mix to beat, oak subdued and the structure enhanced

30/40/30: nose like previous but too hot, candy-like, flabby

40/35/25: boring, candy dandy, not much nose, life savers

45/30/25: pretty good, big upfront, no middle, surprisingly long tail, no nose, many (but certainly not all) liked this one

40/25/35: meh

42/30/28: more sack, no more drop-off in the middle, sweet pillowy nose, nice finish, bacon

[ 2 favorites blended and then served back to tasters blind -Z ]

A: Nice but no cigar

B: Stronger acids, tannins, flavor depths

Ta-da! A = 42/30/28, B = 40/30/30, so 40/30/30 is da winner and still champion!

and it’s got lots of sac(k)!

[Pics below the fold -Z]

Blending trials begin in earnest…Blending
…complete with rigorous, scientific-like notes Rigorous, scientific-like notes
Cassis? Bubble gum? Industrial sewage? All three?Cassis? Bubble gum? Industrial sewage? All three?
Some of the jury, still outThe jury, still out

1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Ziraud August 5th, 2007 11:13 am

    My notes on the base wines:

    Cab Sauv solo: intense, deep color, but not a lot of fragrance. Good varietal fruit, good weight in the mouth, and good balance, but not much beyond good in any of those metrics. Great structure, however: the Oregon oak has already significantly descended and integrated into the wine since we took it out in February, when the Or Oak felt like it had really compromised the wine. What’s left is its signature spicy nose and just the right amount of grip. Definitely our structure component.

    Merlot solo: here too the Oregon oak has added a nice dimension. The merlot only lived in the Or oak for only a month or so, but it added a wonderful dimension to the otherwise simple fruit in the nose. In the mouth, the wine is definitely juicy — though by no means jammy or weighty — and fruity, though not especially complex. As Mike noted, there was an odd drop-off of flavor in mid palate. It was also a bit carbonic (perhaps because part of this wine has aged in stainless steel?), which makes me think it definitely needs at least one more racking. Our fruit component.

    Cab Franc solo: As always, the wine of the night. Lovely, enchanting nose; pure delicious fruit and spot-on balance (fruit, acid and tannin). Easily stands shoulder to shoulder with its relatives in Chinon. This will contribute aromatics and fruit to the blend.