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Habit Red Blend 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    13.9% ABV
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    13.9% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Bottled after two yeas in barrel, the Habit Red is a crowd-pleaser. Very pretty with nice depth, soft tannins and well-integrated oak. This wine is drinking fantastic out of the gate, but will age beautifully.

    Blend: 43% Cabernet Franc, 34% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot

    Critical Acclaim

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    Habit
    Habit, California
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    For winemaker Jeff Fischer, the quest to find what made a good wine great led to a decade of experimentation, trial and error. His first label, Casa Pescador, was a crowning achievement for an amateur winemaker. But it was mostly a friends-and-family affair. The chosen grapes and methodologies worked well, yet the results were inconsistent. Having had a taste of the magic that was possible, it was time for Jeff to take things to another level. His home operation had outgrown itself. It was time to move up to 'boutique'. And it was time to make a truly great wine, and all great wines start with the right grape...

    Jeff has been to just about every corner of California and beyond in his search for the right grape to make the wine on his mind. To cut a years-long story short, he finally found what he was looking for in 2007, standing in a field in Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara County.

    The map that led Jeff to Happy Canyon was drawn from countless conversations with wine lovers and vintners; both novices and experts whom he hoped could help him find what he was looking for. In Happy Canyon, the microclimate, the soil, the soft pacific breeze all combine to give birth to some of the finest Bordeaux grape varietals to come out of California. Jeff knew he had found his grape.

    With so many years of frustrated experience under his belt, Jeff soon also found friends and accomplices in the region, each of them drawn to this point of convergence, each of them with a different wine on their mind. Their friendship, generosity of expertise and passion for the process has helped Jeff bring my own Habit into the public domain. Handcrafted, using artisanal methods in a state of the art facility, Habit is everything he hoped it would be.

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    Santa Ynez Valley

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    Ranging from cool and foggy in the west to warm and dry in the east, the Santa Ynez Valley is a climatically diverse growing area. The most expansive AVA within the larger Santa Barbara County region, Santa Ynez is also home to a wide variety of soil types and geographical features. The appellation is further divided into four distinct sub-AVAs—Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District and Happy Canyon—each with its own defining characteristics.

    A wide selection of grapes is planted here—more than sixty different varieties, and counting. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominate in the chilly west, while Zinfandel, Rhône blends, and Bordeaux blends rule the arid east. Syrah is successful at both ends of the valley, with a lean and peppery, Old-World sensibility closer to the coast and lush berry fruit further inland.

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    Bordeaux Blends

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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.

    In the Glass

    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. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    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 Secret

    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.

    RVLHE12RED_2012 Item# 141564