After 12 months in barrel, we sat down with our winemaker to blend the 2011 Randy’s Red. The wine still has two more months in barrel before it will be bottled in mid-March, but the final blend has been determined! So how did we get to the final blend?
First, our winemaker took separate samples of Syrah and Grenache. He took small samples from several barrels to get an idea of what each varietal will taste like on its own when all the barrels of that varietal are blended together. Then, we headed into the lab to start the blending trials.
[Samples in the lab.]
Samples in the lab.
We started out by tasting the 2010 Randy’s Red. Each year, we try to achieve a similar style as the previous Randy’s Red blends. It is important to us to maintain some consistency vintage after vintage. Next, we tasted each 2011 varietal on its own. Then, the fun started.
[Randy tasting 2011 wines.]
Randy tasting 2011 wines.
The first blending trial was the same as the previous vintage, 45% Syrah and 55% Grenache. The 2011 Syrah is very concentrated and intense, so we decided increase the percentage of Grenache for the next trial.
The second blending trial was 25% Syrah and 75% Grenache. While delicious, this blend lacked some of the balance that we were trying to achieve. It lost some of the deep ruby color and smokey richness by taking away so much of the Syrah.
[This was Joel Jr.'s first experience in the winery!]
This was Joel Jr.’s first experience in the winery!
The last trial was unanimously our favorite, and in my opinion closest to previous vintages profiles. We blended together 35% Syrah with 65% Grenache and achieved a balance of fruit and oak, great color, and a wonderful nose. I can’t wait to bottle this wine and share it with you all later this year!
[We are all really excited about the quality of all the 2011 wines!]
We are all really excited about the quality of all the 2011 wines!
Previous Randy’s Red Blends:
2010: 45% Syrah, 55% Grenache
2009: 33% Syrah, 67% Grenache
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