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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.

2011 Blues Cuvée
Santa Barbara County

2011 Blues Cuvée

Technical Details

52% Cabernet Franc
24% Syrah
13% Cabernet Sauvignon
9% Merlot
2% Malbec

Production: 262 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.9%
pH: 3.52
Titratable acidity: 0.69 g/100mL
Cellaring potential: Five to eight years
Bottle price: $30

This is the 19th vintage of our popular Cabernet Franc-based blend that pays tribute to one of the great American musical forms — the Blues. This year's label features new artwork by artist Brad Greenwell. Brad is a young, talented and up-and-coming artist working in the industrial zone of Salt Lake City, Utah. He's provided us with a beautiful oil on canvas painting of a saxophonist deep in musical meditation.

Our 2011 Blues Cuvée blend is composed of four classic Bordeaux grape varietals plus Syrah. Fans of Cabernet Franc will be happy that it comprises slightly over half of this year's blend. Each of the component wines was aged in French oak barrels for 21 months before being blended together. The percentage of new oak barrels averaged 25%.

The wine has a beautiful forward nose of berries, cedar and violets. The high percentage of Cabernet Franc is evident in the aromas. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with a great balance of tannins and acidity. The flavors are of blueberry, boysenberry and a hint of green olive. The tannins are very well balanced and the acidity provides a long finish.

This wine pairs well with a variety of foods, particularly grilled meats.

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