Why Specific Grapes Are Blended in Wine.
When a winemaker blends wines from many distinct barrels, vineyard plots, or grape varietals, they have the chance to produce an extraordinary taste profile for the finished product.
By looking at a number of historical locations that are known for their expertise in wine blending, we may get a better understanding of contemporary blends.
How are different wines blended together?
We have discovered over the course of the last several centuries that it is generally preferable to vinify (that is, make wine) various types of grapes separately and then mix them together afterward.
Grapes were plucked and fermented together in the traditional practice of making wine, which we now refer to as a “field blend.” (In point of fact, port is one of the few wines that are still produced in this manner, making it a rare find!)
The blending process begins after the wine has been stored away in barrels (or tanks), at which point it is ready to begin.
Because of the strong yeast odors at this stage, it is difficult to utilize your sense of smell effectively. Taste and mouthfeel are often the two primary considerations that go into the creation of a wine mix by a winemaker.
The Skill Behind the Blending of Wines
Mastering the skill of blending requires a significant investment of time, maybe even a lifetime. The best winemakers often use a methodology that combines technical analysis with taste. Before the ideal “recipe” is developed for some mixtures, an iterative procedure consisting of fifty or more trials is carried out.
Naturally, mix formulas may only be used a single time. The climatic conditions that prevail from year to year influence the maturation of grapes and the production of wine in distinct ways.
Famous Wine Blends and the Reasons Why They Are Successful
Do you detect any recurring motifs when you consider the many wine mixes that are available on the market today? It is usual practice to combine Cabernet with Merlot. When Syrah is used in a mix, it is often done so with Grenache and Mourvèdre.
It is quite unusual, if not impossible, to find Cabernet blended with Pinot Noir. This is an intriguing fact. Why is this the case?
Wine blends have been produced over a significant amount of time in historically significant wine producing locations.
Traditional French mixes continue to serve as industry standards.
What grows together tends to go along with the climate. Grape varietals that are able to thrive in the same environment are often considered to be suitable blending partners. (And it’s probably for this reason that Cabernet and Pinot are such strange bedfellows.
Bordeaux Blend The red mixes that are produced in Bordeaux, France are referred to as Bordeaux Blends. (After all, almost all of the grapes that are cultivated in the Bordeaux area are of the red kind.) The best five wines are made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot grapes respectively.
The addition of Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine more body, as well as a herbaceous flavour and a wonderful mid-palate texture (tannin), and it concludes on an oaky note. The overall flavor profile is rather robust and lingering.
When it’s at its finest, Merlot has a lot in common with Cabernet Sauvignon. Nevertheless, the herbaceous quality of the Cabernet varietals is balanced out by the Merlot’s little richer cherry fruit aromas and more polished, pincushion-like tannins. (Just so you know, the majority of Merlot and Cabernet Franc may be found in wines from the Libournais region of Bordeaux, sometimes known as the “right bank”).
The tastes of Cabernet Franc are drier, leaner, and ever-so-slightly more savory and red fruit. Despite this, the aftertaste lingers almost as long as that of Cabernet Sauvignon. When combined with Merlot, Cabernet Franc often contributes rich peppery aromas and a more energetic finish to the final product.
Richness at the front and tastes of dark fruits are hallmarks of a good Malbec. The finish is not as lengthy as that of Merlot or Cabernet, but it is as silky and luscious as those wines. If you are a fan of mixes that have a significant amount of creamy, plummy, and fruit tastes, then you should go for this kind.
If there is Petit Verdot in a mix, you may anticipate it to provide additional floral flavors and tannin, in addition to heaps of opaque color. The majority of areas only make little use of petit verdot (except for places with hot climates like Spain, Argentina, Washington State, and Australia).
Rhône / GSM Blend
The Southern Rhône region of France was the source of inspiration for what is known as the “GSM” or Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre mix in most locations. Up to 19 different kinds of grapes, including white grapes, go into the production of this red wine in the Rhône. Even so, Grenache is the most significant of the three varieties, followed by Syrah and Mourvèdre.
Grenache makes up for its lack of color in terms of its fruitiness, alcohol content, and length of finish. Grenache is known for having aromas that are jarringly reminiscent of red berries, as well as a luscious mid-palate and a tingling, often herbaceous, citrusy finish.
Syrah The robust, black fruit and meaty, black pepper tastes, in addition to the blend’s dark hue, are contributed by the Syrah grape. It is added straight away. A portion of the tingling that Grenache imparts may be mellowed down by the smoother finish of Syrah.
Mourvèdre, also known as Monastrell, is the most savory of the bunch. It contributes body to the wine by imparting notes such as rich black fruit, game, black pepper, and even tar, which create layers into the wine’s longer, thicker finish.
Not only France has produced one-of-a-kind and fascinating concoctions, but other countries have as well. A regional blend may be created in any location that has a varied range of vine types and a climate that is distinct from other areas. The following are some that we’ve noticed:
The most common components of Italy’s Super Tuscan Blend are Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and/or Cabernet Franc. Although there are many other versions of this blend, all of them incorporate at least one of these four varietals. This blend would not be complete without the lively red fruit and excellent acidity that Sangiovese brings to it, not to mention its capacity to age gracefully.
The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah (three of Washington’s most significant reds) in the CMS Blend make a wine that is full of luscious fruit flavors and has a silky finish. This blend is called Washington’s CMS Blend.
The Rapsani Blend from Greece: Rare grape varieties such as Xinomavro, Krasoto, and Stravroto may be found growing on the high elevation slopes that surround Mount Olympus. Raspberry and sun-dried tomato aromas can be found in Xinomavro, which also has a high tannin and acidity content. The fruit is plumpier, rounder, and softer thanks to Krasoto, and the finish is silky smooth.
It is believed that stravroto imparts color.
Douro Tinto Blend: A red blend that generally consists of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, and Tinta Roriz grapes from Portugal’s Douro Valley (aka Tempranillo). The inclusion of Tinta Roriz imparts acidity and a more varied array of savory aromas, while Touriga Nacional gives the wine its dark color, flowery aroma, and chocolaty flavor.