A Few Good Blends

When I was growing up there was a family in my neighborhood with eight kids. I remember one of them captained the high school volleyball team, graduated near the top of her class, and became a dentist. Another from the same family is serving time for holding up a gas station. According to the story, he locked the keys inside the getaway car. It’s funny the diversity you can get from exactly the same parents. Blending wine is just the same. When mixing the components together, the goal is to get the product to inherit the best qualities from each of the parent grapes. The project’s success depends not only on the quality of the parent wines but also on the skill of the wine maker. There are no guarantees. A skilled wine maker recognizes a weakness in the juice and adds a little wine from a grape known to be strong in that area. The result, hopefully, is a wine that is greater than the sum of its parts. True, some blends turn out to be thugs, but the ones listed below lean heavily to the dentist side.

Fifth Leg 2007, White Wine ($10.99): The three varietals in this wine give fantastic aromas of butter, lemon, and oil. I know the oil part may sound weird but how many times have you been tempted to try the suntan lotion at the beach because it smelled delicious?   

Clos LaChance 2005, Meritage Red Wine ($15.99): Five different grapes go into this blend. If you’re interested in Bordeaux style wine without paying the price that typically goes with them, this wine is for you. The softer tannins and structure are packaged perfectly with red fruit to show a wine that tastes like it’s been cellared for over a decade. It’s great with steak, lamb, or just on its own.

Chateau St. Jean 2004, Cinq Cepages ($59.99): Yes, that’s a big price tag but if you’re trying to impress someone who’s out of your league this just might get you there. Although the label says Cabernet Sauvignon, there are five varietals in this juice. It’s loaded with bigger, masculine flavors of tobacco, cedar, and leather. It even shows a huge amount of oak, something that often overpowers a wine. This time, however, the oak is integrated nicely. It’s like the champion wrestler who can wear a good suit and speak well at parties.

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