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Record Family Wines

Tricia Swartz
 
May 12, 2011 | Family, Merlot, Wine | Tricia Swartz

Better Than "Overripe Sawdust!"

We made it! One month and two days after bottling, we tasted our wine for the first time. It was one long month! It is rare that the four of us (Randy, Anne, Tricia, and Mindy) all make it home to San Jacinto at the same time. We took advantage of this rare occurance last Saturday evening and decided it was the perfect opportunity to taste the first vintage of Record Family Wines.

Randy opening the 2009 Randy's Red

We had tasted barrel samples of the wines several times during the winemaking process. Each time, we were pleased with how the wine was developing. In addition to tasting each barrel separately, we would do our own blending trials with the barrel samples to get an idea of how the final products would taste. In essence, we had a feel for how the wine would taste, but, to be honest, were a little nervous to taste it for the first time out of the bottle!

Tricia, Randy, and Mindy in the barrel room at Zenaida Winery.

Of course, we were not content to taste just our wine and gush over how much we like it and how easy it is going to be to sell! Oh no, there is a bit of a competitive streak in the Record genes. The previous week, we found a 2009 California Merlot and a 2009 Central Coast Syrah / Grenache blend to compare our wines to. We were pleasantly surprised at how our wines compared, especially considering that our approach during the winemaking process has been relatively simplistic. We want to showcase our grapes, not manipulate them into a wine you can find anywhere. As Mindy so eloquently stated: “Anyone can do over ripe sawdust!”

Blind tasting.

The details: The 2009 Merlot is a very elegant wine. Lots of fruit but soft tannins make this wine enjoyable right now. We think our vineyard is very well suited to produce a consistently outstanding Merlot, every year. Our vineyard manager did not push the fruit to a level of ripeness that would result in an unbalanced wine and our winemaker  really let the fruit shine through in the finished product. We used a combination of neutral French and American oak barrels to age this wine for 14 months before bottling, resulting in a well-balanced, wine with just a hint of well-integrated oak.

The 2009 Randy’s Red is definitely the more “masculine” of the two wines. The 33% Syrah provides loads of dark fruit while the 66% Grenache packs a punch with intense fruit, an inky color, and a bit of heat. The combination of the two varietals express a complexity that we didn’t find as exciting when tasting the wines on their own. These two varietals work so well together, in our vineyard and in the bottle! While we all enjoyed this wine, the consensus is that it will mellow out a little and become even better as it ages.

We are all thrilled to see how the wines change and evolve during the aging process. We hope you join us on this exciting journey!

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