Advantages of leaving your comfort zone for a while in varietal wines and start surfing on Blends, Cuvee or Assemblages
Up to now we have enjoyed wandering around the trails of red varietal wines (exclusive grape); wait until you arrive at the world of masterly mixes.
They are found at every price in all countries where it’s produced.
To leave an exclusive grape and go to a blend or assemblage (mix of wines from different grapes, not a mix of grapes to achieve a specific wine) is splendid. The horizon opens up for you.
It’s like sailing out of a brook into a delta.
Everything changes, the scenery, colors, strength, the impression, the possibilities for gastronomic harmonies. And furthermore, if you so desire, the company or the table, aggrandize, not shrinks.
Which is more popular?
The wine taster/buyer wins and advances when he has a clear idea of concepts and differences between a mono-varietal (exclusive grape, or 85% predominant) or blends (mix of different-type wines).
Both styles have been popular for more than 80 years. Burdeos was always a blend (usually Cabernet Sauvignon + Merlot and /or Cabernet Franc), while Bourgogne was always the land of Pinot Noir for the reds, and Chardonnay for whites.
Why are they mixed? To improve the wine: better color, more aromatic richness, more alcohol, or more tannin.
Why are they NOT mixed? When you have a variety of consistent quality, excellent aging, and a sufficient number of hectares to cover the demand, it’s not necessary.
Famous in each band
Each style can quote in favor of its preference world-class wines. In mono-varietal: wines of the Merlot Pomerol strain (with Petrus in the lead), the Pinot Noir from Romanee-Conti, Tempranillo from Rioja or Ribera del Duero; the Riesling from the shores of the Rhine, or the Chablis from Bourgogne.
In the blends or assemblages, the grand Bordeaux, the big Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Tuscany, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese, the Chateau-neuf-du-Pape (Garnacha, Syrah, Mourvedre; thus, I can name 50 examples in the big wine-producing countries. From the USA to Portugal, from Chile to Spain.
Limited or plenty of wood?
Forget about the wooden casks as an essential element. More important is the grape and its Cuvee than the cask.
That’s the way many of us, professionals dedicated for years to teaching about appreciating wine, feel.
In order to enjoy it, first, you have to think about the grape. If you’re going at it alone, or if it’s better wisely accompanied. First, the strain and its geography (soil, climate,) and then the casks. That’s the way it’s been done since the Middle Ages by the monks of the Benedictine and Cistercians monasteries who created the fundamentals of the art of wine.
Likewise, if you organize soirees or private encounters with friends, forget about labels and plan the encounters according to the appearance and knowledge you have of your guests. Experience demonstrates it works better. Much better.