Wine Tasting - New Releases of California Red blends|
August 20th 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
We will be tasting new releases of California Red blends, for inclusion on our list. Stuart Timmons of Farrell Distribution will be on hand to discuss the wines and answer any questions. Why blend red wines together? There are many rationales. Most obvious is to ameliorate the shortcomings of one wine by adding another with a different set of deficiencies, saving both varieties. The reason that most inexpensive New World wines are without obvious flaw is because they are blends. Most varietally labeled wines are also blends. The laws governing blending vary greatly from country to country. In the U. S. A. a wine may be varietally labeled if 75% of the wine consists of the named variety. So don't imagine that when you purchase a wine labeled Cabernet Sauvignon there isn't a little of something else in there-up to 25%. The past decade has seen a strong trend away from pure varietally labeled wines in the U. S. A. Wine lovers have apparently grown tired of varietal wines that resemble each other too closely and are intrigued by blended wines with proprietary names. Unlike French law, which governs all blends, U. S. law gives the winemaker total discretion. And so we now have blends of Syrah and Zinfandel, unheard of just a decade ago. A dash of history is helpful here because there's a method to the madness: "Field blends" were historically used to protect the farmer and the winemaker. Biodiversity is, after all, a good thing and if for whatever reason the Zinfandel didn't do well one year, or a bug came along with a predilection for Petit Sirah, well, at least part of the year's crop would come through. But there's also a school of thought, maybe a bit romantic, that also believes such field blends allow the vineyard to speak in a more "whole" form, allowing the same terroir to speak in many different languages, creating wines with a broader complexity, more personality, more charm. The format will be casual, walk around with cheese and bread. The wines featured will be:
Beringer Founders Estate, "Smooth Red Blend", California 2011
St. Francis Winery, "Red Spash", California 2009
Artesa, "Elements", Napa County 80%/Sonoma County 20% 2008
Farrier, "Presshouse", Alexander Valley 2009
Revenant, "Block 12 Cuvee", Paso Robles 2012
Reservations required; please call the front desk at (802) 253-5742 or (800) 826-7000.
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