2018 Quintet Blending—A Must Attend for Those Interested in Understanding and Enjoying Wine More!
Do you ever wonder how we come up with the percentages for our Bordeaux blends? As much as I may joke about using a set of dice, it really comes down to delegating time tasting, blending, retasting, reblending (ad nosism) of small lot trials. Generally, it takes a full two days of uninterrupted work to come up with our Quintet and all the subsequent varietal blends. But seriously, you want to know what this has to do with you and your wine knowledge.
Essentially, learning about and enjoying wine is all about doing! It is the experience of doing it yourself that really drives home the tasting and thought process behind making and blending wine.
Our annual Quintet tasting (the last weekend of January) is all about education, and you experience the same tasting with the same wines we do for our Quintet. The thought is that by learning to blend with well-made wines, you will become a better wine taster.
Now understand that this event is not a “bottle-your-own” event where a winery is simply trying to sell wine by the case. Instead, the Quintet blending is a chance for us to show our best wines (from barrel) and have you understand blending (with pipettes and graduated cylinders) under guidance of our winemaking team (Paul, Tim and Ryan). Basically, it’s like a college wine course but with premium components to taste!
But once again, what do you really get out of this?
Here’s the list:
- You learn and appreciate the difficulty of blending in a relaxed environment
- You learn to appreciate the importance of blending in a relaxed environment
- You start to map your own individual palate and what you like
- You begin to grasp the final “goal” of wine with concepts of ageability vs. approachability
- You learn that there is always a measure of faith in elaborating exceptional wine
- Most importantly, you’ll know more than your pretentious wine friends!
But why is an educational class necessary to get deeper into wine enjoyment?
Ok, here’s this list:
- Most wine consumers have really only tasted finished wines in the bottle, and this is totally different
- It’s important to look (taste) past just soft and ready to drink
- It’s important to look (taste) past just a fruity palate
- Small percentage changes in wine blending make huge flavor changes in the finished wine
- Balance in wine is just as important as balance in life. It’s something to be learned and experienced rather than brushed aside for immediate gratification
But why come experience the Quintet blending this year?
Ok, here’s this list:
- The 2016 vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec are some of the nicest we’ve produced
- Cab Sauvignon—Big structure and dark berry fruit
- Cab Franc—Ultra complex but with tamed tannins this year
- Merlot—Dark cherry and plum with a softer finish
- Malbec—Black as night with more blueberry this year
- Petit Verdot—Blackberry and cherry, a complete wine almost on its own
- Continuing education for your palate is paramount to exploring wine
- Practice makes perfectish (there’s no perfect in wine, just perfect for you! It’s subjective)
- And lastly, as for our work here, I don’t plan to do our work blending until February. I’m expecting to glean information as to potential blends from all of your palates’ work. Smart, eh1!?!
The tasting is this Saturday and Sunday, and we have a few slots still open. Call the winery at 530/644-5948 or go to www.MadronaVineyards.com under events to sign up.
Honestly, do I believe this is the best and most educational tasting of the year? You betcha! But then again remember that I believe that doing is the only real way of learning!