Michael Migliore invited me and  Paul over to do some wine blending. The wine on the blending table was Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec.  We later added Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir to the table. The mission for the day was to see if the varietal stood up on it’s own or was better blended with another varietal. 

First we began with a taste of the Riesling that was blended a day or two ago.  It was unfined and unfiltered, so looks were a little cloudy.  The taste was pear with an orange peel finish.  Looking forward to that release.

For each of these wines, we tasted the wine on it’s own and then with some blending to determine which blend if needed was what would be bottled.

Merlot Experiment:

  • On it’s own it had a very berry nose with new oak.  Berry
  • Blended with 2% Petit Verdot – not to much difference.  You got a little bitterness on the finish.  The berry was toned down.  
  • Blended with 9% Cab Franc, 2% Petit Verdot – Nose of Cab Franc. The Cab Franc overpowered the wine.
  • The winner – 98% Merlot 2% Petit Verdot

Cabernet Franc Experiment:

  • On it’s own – WOW!  This is a wonderful wine.  Fresh berry spice, smooth,  wonderful black pepper finish.  
  • Blended with 3% Petit Verdot – Brightened the color on the purple hue.  Softened the Cab Franc and the flavors associated with it
  • Blended with 12% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot – no notes on this because I really liked it on it’s own
  • The winner – Cabernet Franc on it’s own.  It is going to be a wonderful wine.

Malbec Experiment:

  • On it’s own – Houston we have a problem – Sauerkraut.  I taste sauerkraut, not good, this means bacteria attacked some of the chemical compounds in the barrel, lactic acid in this case causing the sauerkraut smell.  Off to the barrel room to take a sample from another barrel and to mark the barrel this sample came from.
  • New sample – 100% Malbec had a bland nose.  
  • Blended with 4% Petit Verdot – great nose, nice finish
  • Blended with 7.5% Petit Verdot – to much Petit Verdot, lost the Malbec
  • Blended with 4% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot – Merlot nose and a fruity finish
  • The winner – 96% Malbec 4% Petit Verdot

The Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir were blended with 4% and  3% Merlot respectively and it was determined that they both held their own without any blending.

It was a great harvest last year.  The fruit really holds its own.