“The BIG Picture!”
In one word, mellow! The base wine should offer between fruit, weight, and finish! Although it can be paired, it is thought by many as the perfect “cocktail-red!” Malbec is a red wine grape that is both a blending grape and for varietal wines. Malbec based wines usually have medium body with hints of berry, plum, and currant. Its softness and “fleshiness,” combined with its earlier ripening, makes Malbec a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin [bitterness]. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec is also combined with the grapes Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, and is one of the principal grapes in the Bordeaux region.

The Wines

1. Merlot
2. Sangiovese
3. Tempranillo
4. Cabernet Sauvignon WA

Merlot despite being bashed by the movie “Sideways” and in some respects rightfully so, it remains a favorite red wine varietal in many markets. The name comes from the word merle, the French name for the blackbird. A primary grape in Bordeaux, it is also the most planted in the region. Cabernet Sauvignon is number two! Merlot comes in two main styles, New World and Old World. The New World wine regions edge towards ripeness creating purple colored wines that are full in body with higher alcohol with plum and blackberry fruit. Old World Merlot is brought early to retain acidity and medium-bodied wine with lighter red fruit flavors sometimes a vegetable note.

Sangiovese a red Italian wine grape variety whose name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jove.” Famous as the main grape used in Chianti, part of the blend in Tuscany. Then add Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano. It can also be used to make varietal wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino or Sangiovese di Romagna. Modern “Super Tuscan” wines like Tignanello. Young Sangiovese has fresh fruity flavors of strawberry and a little spiciness if heavily aged in barrels it takes on a tarry cigar-box note!

Tempranillo is a variety of black grape widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in Spain. Found mainly in Rioja, and sometimes considered Spain’s “noble grape.” Name come from, in part, the Spanish word temprano (“early”), and In fact, it does ripen weeks earlier than most other red grapes. In South America, the USA, South Africa, Australia, and even Canada! Tempranillo is generally aged although some can be seen in a younger style. The general approach is aging for several years in oak barrels. The wines are a ruby red color, with notes of plum, tobacco, and with the wood, aging take on vanilla, leather, and herbs.

Cabernet Sauvignon WA
With fruit-forward flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cocoa, leather, graphite, mint and dried herbs.
Supple and velvety in texture, Washington State Cabernet strikes a balance between new world fruit and old world body.