Niner Fog Catcher Red 2015
We hand pick and ferment each block of our vineyards independently and after months of barrel aging we select the best barrels for our Fog Catcher blend. In 2015 a co-fermentation of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc formed the base of this formidable wine with all six other Bordeaux varietals bringing different elements of fruit, structure and spice. We composed the final blend and returned it to barrel as a single entity to age for a total of 29 months, achieving a layered flavor profile only achievable from this type of cohesive aging. This wine is built to age and will withstand years in the bottle. We encourage decanting for 4-5 hours prior to drinking which will elicit softer carnation, blackberry and vanilla bean flavors from the deeply hued wine.
Blend: 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Malbec, 22% Petit Verdot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 5% Carmenere, 5% Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
30% Cabernet Sauvignon; 24% Malbec; 22% Petit Verdot; 14% Cabernet Franc; 5% Carmenere; 5% Merlot. On the one hand, a potent and powerful, near-rustic wine, but, on the other, an interesting effort that displays considerable complexity and range, the Niner Fog Catcher offers up a tantalizing aromatic mix of cassis, fresh berries, woodsy spice and scant notes of cinnamon on the nose that carries on into its lengthy and vital young flavors. It is still a bit rough at the edges, but it is so well-filled that it leaves no doubt about its ability to age, and it is one of those wines that, while very enjoyable at five or six years of age, will continue to gain for a good many more.
Niner Wine Estates is a family company dedicated to the concept that truly great wine results from talented people controlling the entire winemaking process from the vineyard to the glass. Founder Richard Niner's attachment to farming started early as he grew up farming a small plot of land with his father in rural West Virginia. Niner then followed a somewhat unusual path from farm to vineyard: after putting himself through college and graduate school, he spent over 30 years investing in small businesses. In 1996, one of these business deals brought him to San Luis Obispo County, where he found a renewed passion for farming and saw a bright future in the local wine industry.
At Niner Wine Estates they only make wine from grapes we grow ourselves. From vineyard to glass our entire team is working together with a singular goal in mind: to provide you with wines that combine within them a true expression of our vineyards and the creativity of our people. They farm three separate estate vineyards: Bootjack Ranch resting on the Eastern side of the Paso AVA, Heart Hill Vineyard settled on the Western side, and Jespersen Vineyard nestled in the Edna Valley AVA to the south. Each vineyard has very different soil profiles and climates resulting in three very unique representations of terroir.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven 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.
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.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
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.