Blends have been among the best selling wine categories in the United States for years now, but I feel like they are misunderstood. Most Americans shop for wine by grape varietal which is actually a relatively new thing. Historically most old world wineries made just a handful of different wines frequently just a red and a white. All of the red grapes in one and all the white in the other. For years we saw classics like Bordeaux with five major grape varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petite Verdot, or Cotes-du-Rhone with Grenache, Syrah, and Mouverdre. Our west coast winemakers are recreating their takes on some of these classics while others are experimenting something entirely new.
Grab a flight for just $5!
2014 Terra d'Oro Chenin Blanc/Viognier – Clarksburg, California; $12.99
This is one of the great new world blends that has become very successful. The Chenin Blanc offers wonderful acidity coming from the Clarksburg area in the Sacramento Delta. The Viognier comes from their Voteau Vineyard in Amador County and adds some nice floral notes and a bit more richness on the palate. Expect aromas of juicy tropical fruits, fresh lemon and a touch of spice. The grapes work together to create a wonderful balance. - $1.00 Sample
2016 Gnarly Head 1924 “Double Black” Red Blend – Lodi, California; $9.99
Gnarly Head was named after the older growing style of head pruned vines which didn't use any trellising and were, well…. Gnarly. This blend is part of their 1924 series which features wines done in a more prohibition era style with rich jammy “black” grapes. The “Double Black” is a field blend style of black grape varietals, Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Petite Sirah. This is a very concentrated style with aromas of black cherry and chocolate. Very velvety and smooth showing lots of fruit on the palate as well. - $1.00 Sample
2014 Komodo Dragon Red Blend – Columbia Valley, Washington; $14.99
This blend out of Washington showcases some of the best varietals growing in Columbia Valley. A rich, but balanced blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. All of the structure and acidity from the Cab and Merlot with a big juicy finish from the Syrah. Dry and full bodied with vibrant flavors of black cherry, clove and some toasty oak. - $1.50 Sample
2015 Kuleto Estate India Ink – North Coast, California; $19.99
In 1992 Pat Kuleto purchased five parcels of land from cattle ranchers to create a 761-acre ranch. The winery finished construction in 2001 completing an incredible estate that had grown to include extensive orchards, gardens, and a working ranch with sheep, fowl, cattle and fish. Winemaker Dave Lattin and vineyard manager Alberto Ochoa work together showcasing small lots from throughout their vineyards. India Ink is part of Kuleto's blend series that uses multiple of these small lots. The India Ink focuses on showcasing the Petite Sirah .
The wine starts with 60% Petite Sirah blended with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Syrah. This is another great example of blending some ripe rich fruit from Lake County with some more elegant softer fruit from Napa Valley. The final blend is just exploding with juicy blueberries and black cherry with some oak spice and bold tannins. - $1.50 Sample