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My winemaking philosophy which I developed early on in my career is based on the concept that wine is a natural food. As such, the ultimate enjoyment of wine is as a graceful and harmonious accompaniment to a meal, whether it be simple or sublime.

While most of my wines are enjoyable by themselves, it is with food that they really shine, and reveal all of their nuances and textures. To me the best wines have the ability to bring out the best in the food they are paired with and conversely the food brings out the best in the wines.

2001 Blues Cuvée
Santa Barbara County

2001 Blues Cuvée

Technical Details

Cabernet Franc: 63%
Merlot: 30.5%
Malbec: 6.5%

Production: 559 cases
Alcohol by volume: 14.5%
pH: 3.60
Titratable acidity: .63 g/100 ml.

The astute reader of our humble newsletter may have just noticed that the varietal name of Cabernet Franc is missing from the title of our Blues Cuvee. An explanation is in order.

Beginning with this 2001 wine, our Blues Cuvee will no longer be labeled officially as a Cabernet Franc. The “official” reference alludes to the BATF (now ATT) regulation that any wine made from at least 75% of a varietal grape may be labeled by the name of that varietal.

We began our odyssey with the noble Cabernet Franc grape in 1990, when we bottled and labeled one of the first Cabernet Franc wines in our area. In 1993, we added the “Blues Cuvee” title to the wine, and now with the 2001 vintage are making the next step in the evolution of this wine. While Cabernet Franc is still the dominant variety in the Blues Cuvee, it is breaking free of the restraint of the minimum 75% requirement. By doing this, I am free to blend other traditional varietals such as Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, in order to make a better wine in the tradition of the great wines of Bordeaux. This first rendition of our Bordeaux inspired red wine is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec.

The wine’s aromas can be described as a combination of black licorice, black cherries and red currants. On the palate the wine is medium to full bodied with medium tannins. The flavors are of cherries, toasted oak and a hint of sweet vanillin in the finish. The acidity is fairly firm for a wine of this weight, indicating that this wine will age for eight to ten years or more. I believe those of you familiar with our previous Blues Cuvee will notice the extra layer of complexity contributed by the addition of Malbec.

Decanting this wine before serving will help to open up the wine before enjoying. We are excited about the unlimited possibilities that we can explore in our future efforts to craft the best wine possible. The “Blues” deserves no less than this.

Rick Longoria
October 1, 2003


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