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Ledson Winery & Vineyards Cepage 2010

Bordeaux Red Blends from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    A soft, easy drinking Bordeaux blend with clean lines and bright, rich fruit. The nose is welcomed with aromas of plum violets and wild berries. Sumptuous blue fruit, blackberry and leafiness blanket the palate and then finishes with smooth tannins, cigar box and truffles. This Cepage is pure Sonoma County.

    Blend: 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc

    Critical Acclaim

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    Ledson Winery & Vineyards

    Ledson Winery & Vineyards

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    Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    Ledson Winery & Vineyards is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley, a short one hour drive north of San Francisco. Emerging like a gothic blast from the past out of acres of rolling vineyards and pastoral calm, the estate's 16,000 square foot French Normandy winery is known as "The Castle" around the world. Originally designed as the Ledsons' family home, the contractor and designer in Steve Ledson got carried away and it quickly became clear that the architectural showpiece was much better suited to house the family's planned winery.

    Ledson specializes in small varietal lots that reflect the genuine diversity of the winery's select vineyards and appellations. Their wines are sold exclusively at the winery in Kenwood, in Ledson's online store, and at the Ledson Hotel in Sonoma.

    Boasting beautifully appointed hand-crafted tasting bars, impeccable grounds with picnic areas shadowed by 100-year old majestic oak trees, a fully stocked gourmet market as well as a tasteful clothing and gift boutique--the Ledson Winery is the breathtaking backdrop for an afternoon picnic or a weekend getaway.

    Alexander Valley

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    Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.

    In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.

    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.

    KOW207991_2010 Item# 207991