Robert Sinskey Point of View 2014
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Like striking a major chord, the three varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, harmonize brilliantly - like they were always meant to be together. The wine opens with floral aromas of violet and rosemary, followed by a fruit stand of aromas and flavors reminiscent of blackberry, black plum, currant and black cherry. The primary fruit notes lead into more complex and earthier notes of black olive, sage, star anise, cocoa and a hint of vanilla that softens an otherwise youthful flavor profile.
Consistent with other RSV wines from the 2014 vintage, this is a wine that can be enjoyed now or cellared for the long haul. Lean beef or wild game like venison are the perfect match for a young POV while a few years under its belt will lend the wine the flexibility to work with a broad range of lighter meats like pork and poultry as well as non-meat-centric dishes like pasta with tomato sauce and roasted veggies.
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Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.
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.