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This Week's Tasting

The Adventures and Joys of Blending
March 22, 2017

Blending a wine from different grapes is as old as winemaking itself. In Bordeaux Merlot softens and broadens the steely tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon. In the southern Rhone grenache performs much the same function with Syrah and  Mourvedre. People have been asking us about blends so we’re going to have fun this week with a number of different ones, few standard.

 

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We’ve searched out some delectable made by winemakers with different, sometimes off-beat ideas of what they want to make and from what.  We think you will enjoy.

White

Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay; Walker Bay, South Africa

2016 Ashbourne White

Hamilton-Russell’s other label extends the crisp acidity of Sauvignon Blanc with the broader fruit of chardonnay. Don’t be put off by its low price. It is a wonderfully versatile every day wine with a lot of depth. 

2016 Ashbourne Sauvignon Chardonnay; Aroma: Fruity forward, quince green plum, 2 lemon, flinty; Mouth: Juicy forward nice acidity lemon grapefruit, fine rather citric smooth textured; Very Good 11.99; Mixed Case, 10.79; Case, 10.19

Pinot Noir, Muller Thurgau, Chasselas; Oregon

2016 Teutonic Wine, Pig and Swords Willamette White

The generously mustachioed Barnaby Tuttle (a name from Dickens or J K Rowling, but really his) had an obsession to make German-styled wines in Oregon. His 2o16 Pigs & Swords that most impressed me, despite its unduly whimsical name. majority Pinot noir fermented as white provides the broad base, old vine Muller-Thurgau, a spicy lift and a smidge of chasselas, of origin Swiss, a crispness. It is a decidedly different wine, but also decidedly delicious, for a range of foods from charcuterie to veal to sauced fish to  chicken stew.

2016 Teutonic Willamette White "Pig & Swords"; Aroma: Heavy, rather dense heady; Mouth: Slightly zingy, lifted sweet low toned, intense, , fruity, bright acidity, very nice contrast between breadth and liftlong; Very Good Plus 26.99; Mixed Case, 24.29; Case, 22.94

Red

Cabernet Franc, Blaufrankisch, Finger Lakes New York

2014 Anthony Road Cabernet Franc/Lemberger

Anthony Road is little known here but ahs been growing grapes since the 70s, mostly selling to lager bottles. They have been making their own wine in a forthright direct style since the late 80s. Many Finger Lakes growers think that Cabernet franc will be their signature grape bit it can be lean and acidic when made alone. The solution, blend in Lemberger (the Austrian Blaufrankisch in its American name) to add a fruith  zing. This wine works.

2014 Anthony Road Cabernet Franc/Lemberger; Color: Light r Ed Light red black; Aroma: Fresh light pretty ; Mouth: Pretty rather fine clean , elegant, fine acid, with light fruit, balanced; Very Good Plus 21.99; Mixed Case, 19.79; Case, 18.69

Tinta Cao, Touriga Nacional, Red Mountain, Washington

2013 2013 Somme Des Parties The Love That Remains

David Rudnick makes only 200 case at his Somme Des Parties , sum of the parts winery. He made only about 590 cases of this. Another example of Pacific Northwest naming whimsy. Tasting through the name, you’ll find a wine that is lifted, layered, and complex. Tinta Cao and Touriga Nacional are found in port and many Douro red blends. Touriga forms the backbone, Tinta Cao gives ….

2013 Somme Des Parties The Love That Remains; Aroma: heady brathr rearthy dense oaked  lightly sweet rather clean, lightly lifted; Mouth: juicy lifted clean firm, nicely textured smooth, currant, firm tight tannins; Very Good - Excellent 38; Mixed Case, 34.2; Case, 32.30

Carmenere, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, Chile

2008 Vina Maquis Lien

Vina Maquis in Chile’s Colchagua Valley is only about a hundred years old, but in that time have learned to make an elegant almost-Bordeaux blend that brings different flavors to a classic structure. The blend of Carmenere, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec brings a a beautifully poised wines that reveals different flavors with each dip into the glass. A hauntingly beautiful wine. 

2008 Vina Maquis Lien; Color: very dark; Aroma: heady rather rich spice, aromatic, lifted tomato leaf geranium tarragon & anise, a touch of chocolate; Mouth: rather bright clean racy still young, bright acid, very clean racy tight bright, gracefully fine tannins on the long finish; Very Good - Excellent 29.99; Mixed Case, 26.99; Case, 25.49

Zinfandel, Charbono, Petite Sirah, Syrah; Napa Valley

2015 Venge Scouts Honor

This is the wine that The Prisoner should have been. Broad and deep, it is a California Rhone blend that has life and articulation. For richer, fuller dishes it is a powerful wine that is not lacking in complexity

2015 Venge Scouts Honor; Aroma: bright, heady fresh, rich very. dense , nutty, herbal,  very deep leather; Mouth: rich rather deep very petty finely delineated, juicy and fresh, lifted taut; Very Good Plus $40; Mixed Case, 36; Case, 34

3-22 Blending Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $288

Instore only 3-22 Blending Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $153

 

Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: Order@federalwine.com

 

           - Len Rothenberg

 

(c) Federal Wine and Spirits Inc. 2017