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Archive for the ‘Weirdo Blends’ Category


Weirdo Blend: The Spanish Quarter Albariño-Chardonnay 2009

June 10th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

This is a weirdo blend from Costers del Segre, a patchword D.O. in Catalonia in northeast Spain. That puts it in proximity to the Cava vineyards of the Penedes, explaining the Chardonnay, which was introduced there for use in sparkling wine. In an act of pure product differentiation, the Chardonnay is blended with Albariño, and [...]

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Election Day Wine: Apothic Red

November 2nd, 2010 by Tom Johnson

I bet on elections. I pride myself on a certain ruthless cynicism in my betting. I’ll bet any race, any party, anywhere, if I think I’ve got an edge. Tonight is going to be difficult, and not just because we’re going to end up with a Speaker of the House whose name will inspire a [...]

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Weirdo Blends #5: Rocket Science

August 23rd, 2010 by Tom Johnson

There was a time when the southeast corner of Napa County around Coombsville was thought to be of such low grape-growing potential that John Caldwell wanted to plant a real estate development on his land there. Coombsville was too cold, the conventional wisdom went, for Cabernet, the rock stars of which were grown on the [...]

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Weirdo Blends #4: Jim Clendenen Has Been Mulling

August 11th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

I’ll grant you, as weirdo blends go, a blend of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris isn’t that weird. The grapes are close cousins and some of the more casual Alsatian Pinot Blancs are likely to have been topped off with a little Pinot Gris. Caveats aside, in 1988 Jim Clendenen, founder of Au Bon Climat, had some [...]

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Weirdo Blends #3: The Lucky Mistake

July 13th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

Domaine du Tariquet had been, since its inception, largely a producer of grapes for Armagnac. In 1982 they diversified into white table wines and planted grapes not normally emphasized in Gascony: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc. During the 1995 crush, a storm front swept through, forcing the harvest of a parcel of Chardonnay. When the grapes arrived [...]

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Weirdo Blends #2: Wine in Technicolor

June 27th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

I pissed Karl Wente off a little, I think. Offered a chance to interview him and taste his wines, I did some research and came away with the impression that Wente Vineyards grows a lot of different grapes and sells them as varietals. I’m interested in non-traditional blends right now, so I asked the fifth [...]

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Weirdo Blends #1: Mad Dogs & Englishman

June 15th, 2010 by Tom Johnson

I’m starting a series of posts on non-traditional wine blends. I’m not sure how extensive the series will be, but it’s a reflection of my belief that blogging is about exploration as much as anything else, and right now that’s what I’m exploring. I’m drinking a lot of unusual blends, and liking most of them. [...]

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