Everybody knows how much fun it is to try a new wine. If it’s a new varietal to you, you eagerly read up on the grape to get a good idea of what you can expect. But when it’s a blend, it’s much harder to make predictions. Today, we’ll look at the fun of trying new wine blends.
What Are Wine Blends
A wine blend is when different wine grapes are mixed together. Instead of a wine being a Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Instead of a wine being a Syrah, it’s a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache.
Some regions in the world are known for single varietal wines. For example, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are made into standalone wines in Burgundy, France. Tempranillo is a standalone wine in Ribera del Duero, Spain. Nebbiolo is a standalone wine in Barolo, Italy. In other European regions, such as in Bordeaux, Champagne and Southern Rhone, instead of getting standalone wines, you get beautiful blends.
Many of us know standard blends like Cab and Merlot and Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache. But some winemakers have fun getting creative. Have you ever tried a Rhone blend of Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache with Sangiovese thrown in? How about a Cabernet with Tempranillo mixed in? Winemakers have a lot of fun applying their creativity to blends.
Inroducing Alex Reble, WineShop At Home’s Winemaker
Alex Reble has been WineShop At Home’s winemaker for the last 10 years. A native of Bordeaux, France, Alex has over 25 years of winemaking experience, working both in France and the United States. Alex’s wine career started in France working for internationally acclaimed wineries—Petrus, La Fleur Petrus, and Chateau La Tour Carnet.
Because Alex started his wine career in Bordeaux, he became an expert blender. The five key red grapes in Bordeaux are Cabernet, Cabernet France, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. But you will never see one of these grapes as a standalone wine. Bordeaux’s claim to fame is their amazing ability to craft stunning blends of these wines.
When he came to California some 20 years ago, he learned the art of standalone wines but continued to develop his blending skills.
Family Ranch Lineage Is a Great New Wine Blend
WineShop At Home’s Family Ranch Lineage came out just this month, and it is delightful. It is a blend of 48% Symphony, 28% Orange Muscat, 12% Thompson and 12% French Colombard. The Symphony grape is a cross of Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris. that was developed in 1948 at UC Davis. It is known for aromas of peach, apricot and lychee, with slightly spicy flavors. Muscat is a very floral grape. Thompson grapes are considered to be a workhorse and tend to be on the sweet side. French Colombard is considered pretty neutral.
So what do you make of this combination? In this video, you’ll see my take on it. I think this is a wonderful wine blend and not even close to anything I’ve tried before.
If you’d like to try some, please visit my WineShop At Home website. Cheers!