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Westerly Fletcher's Red 2010
Blend: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 23% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc
Owner & visionary, Roger Bower, is on the cutting edge of an emerging movement in Santa Barbara County. He works closely with all aspects of farming and winemaking, ranch management, as well as sales and marketing. Roger lives on his property, Crown Point, which is located in the heart of the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA. At dawn and at dusk, he can frequently be seen riding his horses amongst the estate vineyards, fruit orchards, and olive groves.
Adam Henkel, a Kentucky native, came to California by way of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he ran a boutique wine shop that enabled him to taste wines with vintners and growers from all over the world. After numerous trips to France, Australia, Oregon, and California, Adam decided to move to the Napa Valley to learn how to make wine in 2004. Following stints at Merryvale Vineyards in St. Helena and Swanson Vineyards in Rutherford, he settled in at Harlan Estate in Oakville where he was inspired by the “culture of perfection” and the relentless approach to wine quality.
Adam comes to Westerly after eight vintages as an integral part of the winemaking team at Harlan Estate. As the Direct Assistant to the Winemaker and Cellar Master for Harlan Estate, Bond Estates, and Promontory, he became known for producing profound, character-driven wines in an environment where expectations were always at the highest level.
The viticultural diversity, geographical grandeur, and the opportunity to continue making world-class wines is why Adam decided to leave the Napa Valley for Santa Barbara County in early 2013. Adam lives in Santa Ynez with his wife Kellie and four children.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
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.
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.
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.