In praise of red blends

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iridium

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Some time ago there was a great thread about some of the more experienced wine makers on this forum stating that they really liked blended wines as they elevated the wine in general. That inspired me to try to make my own blend. So in 2020 I set out to make my own blend. The goal was to use cabernet franc and merlot. At the same time I tried to tweak a cheap kit of cabernet sauvignon.

Well unfortunately, the wine making process was not smooth. I let the wine go a little too long between rackings and it got a little to much air exposure. Also the cheap kit tweaks produced a tasty but thin cabernet sauvignon. I was concerned that I would lose the merlot and franc which would be disappointing because those were from grapes. However, I tried several blends and a 25/25/50 of franc/merlot/sauvignon came out nicely. It took some wines that would not have been good on their own into a blend that is reasonably good. It was really satisfying to be able to blend the wines into something better.

So if you have wines that on their own aren't tasting great. I also recommend that you try blending. Also try bench trials. That takes the guesswork out and gives you a wine that you will like.
 
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SLM

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I bottled a cheap kit on Monday, "weekday Merlot". Ended up with a half bottle for angels share. But it tasted so bland and flabby, I knew my wife would complain. So I opened a $12 screwtop bottle of acidic hootch, also undrinkable on its own, and blended them. Wife was impressed, "You're opening the good stuff on a weekday?!" Go figure, two wrongs can make a right!
 

NorCal

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I had a very disappointing 60 gallon barrel of 23 brix cab sauv from grapes. I’m sure I covered on a thread years ago. I threw the kitchen sink of Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah at it. I let it sit almost 2 years in the barrel and it ended up being a pretty nice wine. #blendsrule.

Since then, I’ve focused my efforts on making a single barrel blend, the best it can be.
- 100 point blend Cab Franc barrel
- Merlot heavy Bordeaux blend barrel
- This year what ended up being a Petite Sirah heavy blend barrel

Definitely the best wines I’ve made since I started making wines.
 

SLM

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Slm, what kit?, volume started with? ABV.?

Master Vintner Weekday Wine
5 Gal + black zante currants. I read about adding currants but didn't look close enough so I figured 1.5 pounds would be a good amount!
SG 1.114. 16.5% ABV
2 week EM
Bulk aged 8 months with oak balls
 
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