Three pros making high-end red Bordeaux-style blends share their advice on crafting these complex, elegant wines.
When a wine comes up lacking, the solution may just be blending a totally different type of wine with it. Grape wines and wines made from other fruits often have complementary characteristics that lend themselves as a key ingredient in the other.
Vitis vinifera grapes are often thought to be the species used to make wine in the premier wine regions, while French-American hybrid grapes are those used in regions vinifera grapes can’t be grown. However, each species brings something unique to the bottle and it may just be that blending grapes of both species will result in just what your wines need.
Early in my winemaking career I had the good fortune to work with one of the founders of Kenwood Vineyards, Mike Lee, who really knew how to blend wines to make them taste even better. Even though I was a rookie just out of school, he let me take part in blending trials tasting different
Three North American winemakers share their best advice for blending red Italian varieties that are often lesser known and less common in the New World. These grapes bring their own challenges, but
Malbec makes great varietal wines (check out the feature on page 40 for advice on this approach), but is also commonly used as a blending component, specifically for Bordeaux-style blends. In Bordeaux, Malbec is often a smaller component of wines that rely heavily on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and sometimes used in conjunction with the
Your first fortified wine can be a little intimidating. What method are you going to utilize? Sweet or dry? What type of spirits are you going to use? Then again, maybe you’re not like me and already have a game plan in place for your fortification process. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore other means
One of the most useful techniques used in blending wine is performing bench trials, which is the process of treating a series of small wine samples with varying degrees of conditions. In the case of blending, bench trials involve dosing a sample of wine with different measured amounts of a blending wine. The goal of
Blends are most often made from varietal wines prior to bottling, but field blending, where all of the varieties are harvested and fermented together, has its own benefits.
In this article, Michael Larner discusses the wines of the Rhône region of France, and one of the most important winemaking parts of Rhône winemaking is blending. Learn about the basics of
Blending accomplishes several goals in winemaking. It can be done to improve flavor, mouthfeel, cover a defect, balance the chemical profile, adjust the alcohol content, emulate a commercial wine you enjoy or simply for product consistency. Blending is both a science and an art. The correct blend to adjust the alcohol content of a wine
The name Meritage is a blend of the words merit and heritage (and pronounced to rhyme with the latter). But beyond a commitment to using the same grapes as those used in the great wines of Bordeaux, making a Meritage blend is mostly a matter of a winemaker’s own tastes and preferences. Like most things
“Blending is a natural procedure, honest, necessary, and in accordance with historical events.” With that quote, eminent wine authority Emile Peynaud gives us permission to play with our wines. While he was addressing grape wine in his classic Knowing and Making Wine, I think his sentiment applies even more to the wide, wonderful world of
Five top medal winners from the WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition share the secrets of their red wine blending success. Ron Dickens from Arizona started making wine at home in 2008 and started making red blends in 2010. His recent awards include a gold for his 2011 Chardonnay, silver for 2011 “Two Red Heads” blend,
Bordeaux. The mere mention of the name conjures up images of centuries-old chateaus, pristine vineyards and superlative wines that have set the highest standards the world over. Bordeaux wine styles are the dreams, the ultimate goal of Cabernet and/or Merlot winemakers everywhere. Whether the wines are called Cabernet–Merlot blends, Meritage, or simply Bordeaux-style blends, the
One group of internationally famous wines — the Super Tuscans — has come to represent revolutionary change in the wine world in the last few decades. After long-held traditional principles and practices controlled European winemaking for decades (or centuries), some Italian winemakers in the Tuscany region deliberately broke from tradition and began making new blends.
Varietal wines are great, but there is only so much that can be done when working with a single grape variety. To create a truly complex wine, try blending multiple varieties that complement each other. Winemaker: Kimberlee Nicholls, Markham Cellars, Napa Valley, California True blends are very challenging to create. I approach blending like cooking; sometimes
There are lots of reasons to try blending white wines, such as adding complexity, correcting a deficiency, or simply making something fun and new. Find out more about which white grapes work well together, and how to plan the perfect blend.
A California winemaker confesses his secret to making a good wine blend great through the use of his secret weapon.
That’s too bad that you had some stuck fermentations. It’s probable that your yeast died out due to alcohol toxicity resulting from those high brixes. Next time make sure you’re adding enough water and feeding enough nutrients to create as healthy of a fermentation environment as you can. Before next harvest you may want to
The Zin of Blending Since I can’t taste your wine and so don’t know the profile of each individual component, it’s hard to give you “the right” answer. And I would hazard that there really is no right answer; it all depends on what you are trying to achieve in your final wine. Zinfandel is
Home winemakers often resort to a little blending to improve their wines — to add a little more body, tweak the acid balance or deepen the color, or just because it takes one more gallon of something to fill that barrel. But many of the world’s great wines, and maybe even a higher percentage
You know from art class that red and white make pink, but is the same true for wine? Often rosès and blush wines are made from red grapes that are briefly exposed
Are press cuts scientific or subjective? What about combining the free run with the press runs? Do different cuts get different treatments? If you’ve ever wondered about concerns like these, take some advice from this month’s professional winemakers and gain some sense of the press. Josh Beckett, winemaker for Peachy Canyon Winery in Paso Robles,