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Record Family Wines

Tricia Swartz
December 15, 2011 | Family, Randy's Red, Wine | Tricia Swartz

The "Science" Behind our Blend

It’s that time of year again… Time to finalize the blend for Randy’s Red. Last year, I posted a couple pictures on Facebook to capture the process, but this year, we are really going to get into the “science” behind it on the blog! With all of us (Randy, Anne, Tricia, and Mindy) planning to be home for the holidays, it will be the perfect opportunity to taste and experiment with different blends. So how do we do it?

First, we have been tasting the 2010 wines from the barrel to see how they have been evolving on their own. The last time we tasted with our winemaker, Eric, we were all impressed and excited at how they were developing. In fact, we have decided to add one more wine to the line-up for the 2010 vintage. We are so pleased with how the 2010 Syrah is tasting on its own, we are planning to bottle a very limited amount next Spring.

Anne and winemaker Eric working on a blend for Randy's Red.

For the 2009 Randy’s Red, we decided on a blend of 66% Grenache and 33% Syrah. How did we come to this decision? We pulled barrel samples of each of the wines, and got to work with a measuring cup, lots of glasses, and a notepad.

Barrel samples of 2009 wines.

We started out tasting each wine on its own. From there,  we blended, tasted, took notes, and repeated. The Grenache provided the majority of the fruit characteristics, but was a little “hot” or high in alcohol. The Syrah didn’t show quite as much fruit as the Grenache, but provided much needed structure and tannins to ensure a balanced blend. We didn’t want the alcohol of the Grenache to overwhelm the blend, so it was a matter of finding the right combo that allowed both wines to shine yet complement each other at the same time. We tried several different blends and eventually settled on the final of 66% Grenache and 33% Syrah.

Blend, taste, take notes, repeat.

I’ll be sure to post with an update of the 2010 blending trials. We are really excited because of the quality of the 2010 wines and hope to come up with a blend that rivals the 2009 Randy’s Red!

What varietals do you enjoy when blended together? Do you have a favorite blend from Paso Robles?

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