Abacela once again gets much deserved recognition for their winemaking efforts, this time with their Vintner's Blend #10 in yesterday's Oregonian article by Matt Kramer, "Get out of that taste rut with these originals." I have posted the excerpt along with a few added comments in green.
It's said repeatedly among wine producers, retailers and, yes, wine writers, that wine drinkers everywhere are in a taste rut. That consumers want and drink only the same wines repeatedly- namely, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and pinot noir, a relative newcomer to the ranks of wine repetition.
Now, there's some truth to this. After all, familiarity doesn't breed contempt. Rather, it breeds content. (I've always thought that whoever first wrote "familiarity breeds contempt" must have misheard it.) Agree!
The wines this week handily address this state of affairs. They are nothing if not original. But trying new wines hardly precludes drinking the familiar pleasures. There's room for both, don't you think?
Abacela "Southern Oregon" Vintner's Blend #10 Red Table Wine: Various wines from Abacela winery in Roseburg have appeared in this space numerous times over the years. The reason is simple: Abacela makes terrific wines with grape varieties that other in Oregon never previously pursued.
Most of these exploratory varieties were Spanish grapes such as tempranillo and albariño. But Abacela also planted grapes that other in southern Oregon were already tinkering with, such as syrah, malbec, grenache, cabernet franc and viognier.
Abacela regularly purchases grapes from its southern Oregon colleagues. And that, in effect, is the story of its annual bottling designated Vintner's Blend red table wine. This latest version, Vintner's Blend #10, is sourced from five vineyards in addition to Abacela's own plantings: Alta Seca Vineyard, Delfino Vineyard, McCorquodale Vineyard, Pheasant Hill Vineyard and Steelhead Run Vineyard.
This red table wine is composed of a boggling 14 grape varieties: tempranillo (39 percent), syrah (16 percent), merlot (10 percent), cabernet sauvignon (9 percent), petit verdant (5.5 percent) and minor amounts of Grecian, cabernet franc, dulcet, malbec, viognier, ternate, mourvédre, albariño and grenache. I really can't imagine this blending process!
Too often, such wildly disparate assemblages result in a wine of no real character. Such blends can be muddy-tasting and lack flavor focus. That's not the case here.
Abacela "Southern Oregon" Vintner's Blend #10 Red Table Wine (which does not show a vintage, by the way) is a ripe-tasting, rich red with the bright focused spiciness and refreshing acidity of tempranillo enhanced- rather than diminished- by the addition of all those other varieties.
This is a red wine that fairly begs for hearty, robust foods such as bean stews, chili, grilled meats, sausages and the like. Linda, Abacela's Tasting Room Manager, called it the "pizza, pasta and burger wine." Also, it will surely benefit from additional bottle age as the fruitiness of this red is substantial and still quite youthful. This wine's purpose is to be an everyday all-star. Drink now. Worth noting is that this freshness is enhanced by the use of a screwcap closure. Hmm...
At $15.95 a bottle, this is an outstanding deal in flat-out good red wine of real character with not a shred of pretension.
Kramer continues the article talking about a 2008 Grecante "Grechetto dei Colli Martini" from Italy. I couldn't find the article online yet, so you will just have to take my word for it.