Friday, May 18, 2007

2005 Rhone blend(s)

For co-op folks making the 2005 Rhone Blend - it is now bottled, labeled and ready to go! Now strictly speaking, a "Rhone Blend" is made exclusively from varietals typical to the Rhone River region of southern France. For reds this would mean primarly grenache and syrah. When we made our blend in 2005 we also included some petite sirah which, DNA testing has proven, is a cross of syrah and a lesser known rhone varietal called peloursin. So petite sirah is Rhone too and we threw a little in our mix. However, when tasting through various blends on the way to coming up with our final wines to bottle, we tried one combo that included a bit of unoaked 2005 zinfandel (certainly not a Rhone varietal) - it was really nice! The bright fruit of the zin complemented the grenache-oriented aromas and filled a flat spot in the mid-palate flavor. Not sure what to call this blend, I just went with Red #1. So here is what we ended up with and what is going in each case of "Rhone Blend" for 2005:

Grenache (2 btls): We made a small batch of just grenache for blending purposes and with a chunk of that we decided to make a Chateuneuf du Pape style blend: 80% grenache, 15% syrah, 5% petite sirah.

GSPS (2 btls): This was our primary blend: 50% grenache, 38% syrah and 12% petite sirah blended as crushed grapes, fermented, pressed and aged together (some in oak and some in stainless steel).

Red #1 (8 btls): Mostly Rhone (41/31/8% of grenache, syrah & petite sirah) but with a bit of zinfandel (20%, not 10% as the label designer (me) typo-ed on the label) this is a well-rounded table red with enough acidity to play nicely with food but enough flavor to sip on its own.

So there is the lineup - next time you are by the rockroom be sure to pick up your wine!