The Artistry of Blends

October 2015

It seems these days that the focus in wine has become on the hyper-specific single varietal wines. Not only is this a Pinot Noir but it’s a Pinot Noir from these three rows of this particular vineyard. Those wines can be amazing – full of character and interesting qualities – but they can be pricey too.

And in this hyper-specific world, blends often get left behind. Contrary to what some misguided souls believe, blends can be of extraordinary quality. As much artistry as chemistry, blending is used to maximize the expression of a wine — enhancing aromas, color, texture, body and finish, making more well-rounded and complex wines. They are a great way to see the style of a winemaker shine through.

So, this month, we’re exploring that artistry by tasting some amazing Oregon blends that, combined, showcase four of Oregon’s finest wine regions.

We’re featuring two traditional red blends— a French Bordeaux-style blend from Ashland’s Eliana Wines combines Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rogue Valley. The Italian Super Tuscan-style blend from Hood Crest Winery in Hood River includes Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot from the Columbia Valley.

Our two whites are unique, non-traditional blends that also span the state. Kinfolk from Jacksonville’s God King Slave Wine is a surprisingly complex blend of Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne grapes, all from the Applegate Valley. The signature white blend, Mingle, from A Blooming Hills Vineyard in Cornelius is a blend of Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay.

These are all high quality, great value wines that are complex and unique. I hope you’ll enjoy them and the great stories of the winemakers behind them.