Our Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault have been happily sitting in steel tanks for their second fermentation (with a few rackings to clarify out dead yeasts). This weekend, it was their time for the destination of all good wines: oak barrels. We had the further ambitious plan to develop a few Southern Rhone style blends from our separate varietals. Or at least get as close as we could to a Southern Rhone style blend, given that we haven’t yet planted that key Rhone varietal, Syrah. And we don’t have half the dozen or so other grapes that go into a true Rhone wine. But, baby steps.
Yup. There’s no fancy blending at Two Terrier Vineyards. We just think of a possible mix and adjust and take notes until we think we have a combination we like. We started with a couple of classic Southern Rhone blends like Chateauneuf du Pape. Well, we got as close to Chateauneuf as we could given that we don’t have the thirteen or so grapes they use. But hey, their blends are mostly dominated by Grenache and Mourvedre with half a dozen other varietals at 1% of this and that, so we thought we could get close enough for amateurs. So we developed a Grenache dominant blend and a Mourvedre dominant blend.
Once you have the formula for your blend, it all becomes a matter of, not shutes and ladders, but hoses and pumps.
This is a complicated and time-consuming process. So note to self: start early. Which we didn’t.