Balnaves The Blend 2015 Front Label
Balnaves The Blend 2015 Front LabelBalnaves The Blend 2015 Front Bottle Shot

Balnaves The Blend 2015

  • RP91
  • JS91
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark red in color, the nose is intense with aromas of wild anise and liquorice combined with delicate smoky-coffee French oak. The palate is medium bodied with a soft round Merlot mouth-feel and black fruit flavors, with a touch of liquorice and blueberry.

Blend: 60% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Predominantly Merlot (60%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (33%), with bits of Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petit Verdot (2%), Balnaves' 2015 The Blend is a full-bodied, rich, ripe, almost lusty red. Subtle notes of menthol and oak spice mark the nose, while the palate is open yet structured and firm, with a juicy, mouthwatering finish of cassis, cinnamon and clove.
JS 91
James Suckling

Very good-value red with an exuberant array of fresh berries and knockabout tannins. Always reliable, this wine. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot. Drink now. Screw cap.

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Balnaves

Balnaves

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Balnaves, Australia
Balnaves Winery Image
We are a small family owned wine company in the heart of the famous Coonawarra Terra Rossa strip. The initial vineyard plantings were commenced in 1975 and have now increased to 47 hectares. Although predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon the vineyard also includes Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Shiraz.
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Distinguished by a thin, subterranean band of crumbled, red clay loam, Coonawarra is a fairly flat, otherwise unobtrusive region with a cool Mediterranean climate, actually not dissimilar to Bordeaux.

In Coonawarra, this unique layer of red clay is called, "terra rossa" and gets its color from iron oxide. The terra rossa soil overlies soft, penetrable limestone, in a continuous area that is part of the Limestone Coast zone of South Australia. This uncommon layering of soils creates a substrate that is both well draining and at the same time, offers good water retention to support vine roots through dry summers.

Not surprisingly, Coonawara experiences great success with the Bordeaux varieties, namely Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but also Shiraz. However Cabernet reigns superior and accounts for half of the Coonawarra harvest each year. Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon develops powerful, yet polished tannins, ripe, red berry fruit and often sweet herb or dried mint qualities. The region has an increased focus on the individual expressions of single vineyards.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

CWMNJ0115_2015 Item# 529179

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