February 04, 2010

Blending trials

I've been working on blending trials recently in a small group with a friend's wines. I've done it before but it's invaluable experience.

It's all about tasting through barrels, taking notes, then talking about the wines, culling out any problem barrels, highlighting standout barrels, talking about how things might blend together, putting together hypothetical blends, talking about stylistic and market decisions, how much wine in a particular blend, how much new or newer oak, what's typical and not typical of a particular grape variety, where were the grapes grown, when were they picked, how were they fermented and aged, what's the price, who's going to buy it, where's it going to be sold.

I'm feeling really good about all this because I'm not brand new to it anymore. I have lots to learn, but it's nice not being a rookie. I can't wait to do this with my own wines, though even this year with nine barrels there won't be much to trial. Yet there's so much more than tasting and blending. I learn so much about winemaking and logistics down to marketing and distribution. It's fascinating and though my head's clear from spitting all the samples, but mind's swimming in all that information.

We'll do more soon. I can't wait.

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