Blending (and, much later, bottling) the ’06

Three mysterious figures pour Peugeot back into barrel to slumber until March '08Last weekend, we got together for what we thought would be a relatively quick blending and bottling session. Our mission: blend the 2006 Peugeot and squirrel it away until March; blend the 2006 Deux-Chevaux and bottle it; and then bottle the remaining Merlot.

Unfortunately, we discovered too late that we aren’t quite set up to blend that much wine at one sitting: we need a much larger blending vessel. So we had to divide the Peugeot blend in half which slowed us to an escargot’s pace. In fact, I don’t think we got to bottling until 10:30 or so. That’s just too long, despite the good spirits and ample, lubricating vino.

So here’s a general call for a used, stainless steel blending and fermenting vessel, open-topped if possible, somewhere in the 750 liter (~200 gallon) range. In the Willamette Valley area and got one you want to unload? Send us an email, a few photos, and what you want for it.

Despite the long night, however, I think we were all amazed at the quality of the Peugeot going into the bottle: deep, ruby color; lovely nose; nice richness and fresh fruit in the mouth but well-integrated tannins and backbone. Can’t wait to enjoy it.

And happy anniversary to Brian and Liz, who spent a bit of their magic evening with us studiously sampling the blend for any flaws (there were none, natch). Yes, when it comes to romantic ambiance, our basement lair is unequalled.

More photos below the waterline…

A few images from the evening:

Things began smoothly enough as we siphoned Cabernet out of tank into the blend:
Cabernet goes into the blend

The problem was that our vast facility has damn low ceilings, so the difference in liquid levels from source to vessel moved sloooooowly.
Garagistes bottling

Ultimately, however, the Peugeot found its final resting spot in a few comfy barrels.
blendbottle09_15_200719.jpg

Winning lottery ticket? Robert Parker’s cell phone number?
blendbottle09_15_200726.jpg

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