Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Valley, and Alexander Valley were sources for the 2007
Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Rubric. These top appellations in Sonoma County yield vibrant red
grapes with lots of rich and complex flavor. Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley are typically
warm weather regions. Microclimates and mineral-rich soil throughout both regions produce
intense and powerful wines. Sonoma Coast and Sonoma Valley produce grapes with complexity
and richness. The maritime climate of the Sonoma Coast allows a longer hang time resulting in
55% Cabernet Sauvignon,
8% Cabernet Franc,
8% Petit Verdot,
3% Petite Sirah.
The 2007 Blackstone Sonoma Rubric blend exhibits aromas of cherry, anise, dried herbs, and
tobacco on the nose. These lively aromas intertwine seamlessly with flavors of blackberry pie,
caramel, and subtle notes of coffee on a mouth-filling palate. Firm tannins provide balance and lead
to a long, lingering finish. Lamb steaks with potatoes, beef carpaccio, or a cheddar cheese potato
gratin are the perfect accompaniment for the Sonoma Reserve Rubric.
Sonoma County has always been Blackstone's home and inspiration. Since our beginning we’ve established a reputation for consistently delivering balanced, reliable wines of uncompromising quality
From the start, our goal has been to produce smooth, flavorful, harmonious wines with rich fruit, supple texture, and balanced oak. Early on, this approach found its ideal expression in our Merlot, which soon became — and still remains — America's favorite Merlot.
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Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about half as much wine as its northeasterly neighbor. Because of its vast size, however, Sonoma is able to achieve far more diversity within its borders, which include sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid-back and down-to-earth, but the wines are serious and well-made, ranging in style from subtle and elegant to rich and powerful. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.