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Wine time: This Red Blend Brings the Whole Shebang to the Table
PNJ Wine Time
With the weather chilling down and the days getting shorter, we are into what I like to call the dark season of wine. The evenings sipping a refreshing glass of Vinho Verde on your porch are gone, and you now crave wines that are dark, spicy and full bodied.
California red blends are becoming more and more popular. Instead of using a single grape varietal, red blends often use four or more grapes. In the hands of a talented winemaker, blended wines have a unique harmony and layers of flavors that set them apart. In fact, most California wines made pre-Prohibition were red field blends, and only after Prohibition were single varietal wines like Cabernet and Pinot Noir predominant.
One of California’s best young winemakers is Bedrock’s Morgan Twain-Peterson. His father Joel founded Ravenswood Winery in the ’70s, and in its heyday, produced some of the best California Zinfandel based wines ever made. Morgan is a throwback in that he makes wine like someone would before Prohibition. He loves using grapes that he calls California Heirlooms that work well together and bring their own strength to the blend.
Unfortunately, the Bedrock Wines are extremely hard to come by. When they hit our Wine Shoppe, they sell out quickly. Fortunately, Morgan has come up with a top notch field blend called Shebang that will give you a taste of Bedrock at half the price.
Shebang is a non-vintage old wine cuvee composed mainly of Zinfandel, along with Carignan, Alicante Bouchet and Syrah (The Whole Shebang!). Amazingly, 92 percent of the wine that goes into the blend is from 90-year-old vines and is treated just like the Bedrock Wines with native yeasts and aging in French Oak barrels.
Shebang gets its great core of spiciness from the Zinfandel, aroma and acidity from the Carignan, dark purple color from the Alicante Bouchet and body from the Syrah. Truly a team effort. A terrific wine for cooler weather fare; from stews and braised meats to root vegetables.
Let Shebang be your wine for the dark season. It’s in stock, just received 90 points from Robert Parker and is available in Seville’s Wine Shoppe for $13.49.
Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St. 434-6211, or visit www.sevillequarter.com.