Big House Bootlegger White Blend 2008
Big House wines are a rebellious mix of nontraditional grape varieties destined to givethe imbiber a new experience. This year'stipple is reminiscent of the Franco-Italianbattle for the '06 FIFA World Cup. Theflamboyant Italians represented by Malvasiaand Muscat Canelli and the much moreaustere and serious French led by Viognier and Rousanne.
Prohibition shook America’s foundation. It turned men into mobsters, drove ladies to lawlessness and transformed bootleggers into heroes. Big House wines are inspired by these bootleggers who helped bring Prohibition to an end and paid their dues in the Big House. Established in 1990 in Monterey County California, Big House Wine Co. receives its namesake due to the close proximity to the Soledad Correctional Facility, A.K.A. “The Big House.” Their wines are crafted to deliver a fruit-forward style with an unrestrained full-mouth character that is big, bold and unapologetic. Just like their wines, the bootleggers of the roaring ’20s had big personalities, bold character and a rebellious spirit. And now, nearly a century after the start of the Prohibition Era, Big House Wine Co. pays homage to the giants of the era with wines that live up to their legend.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.