“When there is plenty of wine, sorrow and worry take wing.” The Art of Love by Ovid
Welcome to my inaugural entry for my blog. I will be talking about winemaking techniques used at The Hess Collection and fielding questions posed to me and our winemaking team.
This weekend, at The Hess Collection, we hosted our annual wine club blending party. At the party participants were given samples of Mount Veeder wines, first to taste and then to make their own blend. So I thought, this would be a good opportunity to talk a little about blending; how to decide on blending components, goals for blending and the audience for whom you are blending.
Our first step, with blending, is to evaluate each wine component. Our winemaking team looks at the balance of the wine, structure, concentration of flavors and complexity. We also look for flavor and aroma defects. This information is used to determine what we blend into our wine.
If a wine is overly astringent, meaning that it has a chalky mouth texture, we will look to soften the tannins with another wine, for example, Malbec. Or, if the wine lacks tannic structure, we will add a wine with good structure to enhance the blend. Mount Veeder wines generally do not have this problem, so we usually look for wines to showcase more of the fruit that grows here. For example, Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon showcases flavors of cassis, anise, plum and black cherry. In Syrah, you will get pepper, black cherry and sometimes a smoky tar flavor. With Malbec, you may perceive plum, blackberry and cherry. These wines are frequently used as blending components and were used in last week’s blending party.
Check out photos from the event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22768914@N08/sets/72157616223242695/detail/