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Intrinsic Red Blend 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • JS94
  • JD90
14.5% ABV
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4.2 28 Ratings
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4.2 28 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine opens with refined notes of raspberry, white tea leaves, a hint of fresh mint and lavender. The flavors are layered with milk chocolate, fig reduction, dark plum and licorice root, and the texture is angular, yet sophisticated, with chocolate ganache details in the finish.

"For me, Malbec and Cabernet Franc go together like peanut butter and jelly. This wine opens with refined notes of raspberry, white tea leaves, a hint of fresh mint and lavender. The flavors are layered with milk chocolate, fig reduction, dark plum and licorice root, and the texture is angular, yet sophisticated, with chocolate ganache details in the finish."
- Juan Muñoz Oca, Winemaker

Most of the wine was sourced from the Horse Heaven Hills. The region's low rainfall and proximity to the Columbia River yields concentrated fruit with depth, varietal expression, and a refined textural composition.

Blend: 52% Cabernet Franc, 44% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
This is a phenomenal wine with blackberry and blueberry character as well as black olives. Flamboyant and sexy. Blows your mind. Full body and pure fruit. No wood, no make up. Skin-contact wine made in stainless. Nine months on the skins. Groundbreaking. Naked great wine! Blend of 52% cabernet franc, 44% malbec, 3% cabernet sauvignon and 1% merlot. Drink now.
JD 90
Jeb Dunnuck
Made from 52% Cabernet Franc, 44% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Merlot, the 2016 Red Blend sports a vibrant purple color as well as terrific notes of cassis and blackberry fruits, spice box, licorice, and hints of vanilla. This medium to full-bodied effort has no hard edges, beautiful purity and finesse, and a great finish, all making it a terrific value.
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Intrinsic

Intrinsic

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Intrinsic, Columbia Valley, Washington
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INTRINSIC was created to help bridge the gap between the agricultural setting where wine grapes are grown and the urban setting where wine is enjoyed. Winemaker Juan Muñoz-Oca, who has had years of experience working with Cabernet Sauvignon as the head winemaker for Columbia Crest in Paterson, Washington, found a passion project in INTRINSIC. Through it, he has been able to explore the raw, yet elegant characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon in Washington and establish new, cutting edge techniques for the wine.
The inspiration behind the INTRINSIC label came from urban culture and the similarities between street art and winemaking. Both are reflective of the environment around it and are a collaboration between artist and landscape. Muñoz-Oca used this insight and married it with the incredible quality of tannins in Washington State to push the traditional boundaries of Cabernet Sauvignon in the same way street art pushes boundaries of urban aesthetics. By extracting more from the grape skins, our winemaker believed he could impart more layers and depth to the wine. After years of experimentation and trial and error involving extreme extended maceration, INTRINSIC was born.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

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.

SWS895725_2016 Item# 359631