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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.

2012 Blues Cuvée
Santa Barbara County

2012 Blues Cuvée

Technical Details

43% Cabernet Franc
24% Cabernet Sauvignon
23% Syrah
6% Malbec
4% Merlot

Production: 290 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.9%
pH: 3.51
Titratable acidity: 0.66 g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Five to eight years
Bottle price: $30

This is the 20th vintage of the Blues Cuvée, our proprietary blend with artistic labels that pay tribute to one of the great American musical forms – the Blues. The art for this year's label was provided by the young and talented Salt Lake City artist, Brad Greenwell. It is a beautiful depiction of a saxophonist deep in musical meditation.

The blend consists of four of the traditional Bordeaux grape varietals plus a healthy dose of Syrah. All of the lots were entirely destemmed, crushed and fermented in small open-top tanks. After a 21-month aging period in French oak barrels, of which 20% were new, the components were blended, fined and filtered before being bottled in July 2014.

The wine has a dark ruby color and a powerful and fragrant mix of black cherries, herbs, potpourri and flower blossoms. On the palate the wine has flavors of red and black berries with a hint of sweet oak vanillin. The moderate tannins combined with the relatively high acidity give the wine a tight structure which additional bottle aging will resolve. This is definitely a wine that is at its best when paired with food such as grilled meats and spicy Mediterranean fare.

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