My Favorite Neighbor Harvey and Harriet Red Blend 2017
This is a wine for those whose hands are familiar with hard work. Whose values are solid and whose integrity is their compass. Who know heartache and joy are two sides of the same coin and that laughter can be found in the chaos of building a life together. This is a wine for Harvey and Harriet, my parents. It’s also a wine for you. Made with honesty and without compromise, the way great wine should be.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Named after winemaker Eric Jensen's parents, the 2017 Harvey and Harriet is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, and the rest Petit Verdot and Malbec. It offers a richer, powerful style as well as Napa Cabernet-like notes of black and blue fruits, scorched earth, crushed rocks, and violets. Rich, full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, and voluptuous on the palate, it's more approachable than the flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, but I wouldn't bet against it aging just as long.
The 2017 Harvey and Harriet is made up of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, 6% Petite Sirah, 5% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot aged in 80% new French oak. It gives up wonderful crème de cassis, chocolate mint, kirsch, blackberry and black cherry jam aromas with a classy frame of vanilla and sweet baking spices plus sparks of graphite, cedar, flowers and tobacco leaf. The medium to full-bodied, silky palate features rich, plush, meaty black fruits with firm but finely woven tannins and just enough juicy freshness to lift the long, layered finish. This is great! It deserves more time in bottle, but it's drinking wonderfully straight out of the gate.
What started as an homage to Stephan Asseo of L’Aventure Winery and his Bordeaux roots quickly became an obsession. Stretching wide across the Westside Hills of Paso Robles is clay soil amazingly similar to those found in Napa and Bordeaux. Today, these special sites are farmed meticulously by the farmers who have become My Favorite Neighbors. With their dedication to the land, MFN is able to craft a world class wine without any shortcuts or compromises.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven Central Coast wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red 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 resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. 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.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.