There are times in life when a wine needs to be blended and times when it doesn’t. But just because a wine doesn’t need blending is no reason not to blend it. Sometimes, wines that taste great on their own can be made even better or at least more interesting as a blend.
Here is an example of that situation.
Rustico Farm and Cellars 2009 Bonanza Zinfandel, South Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
This is a truly rustic wine that has a lot of qualities I’ve tasted in California zins. It has a toasty nose of black fruit, spice, meat and heat. In the mouth it has raspberries and blackberries, well-integrated oak and brambly notes. It’s rustic, angular and a little bit wild.
Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2009 2 Bench Red, South Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
This is a Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, & Petite Verdot. It’s a brawny wine with lots of black fruit and tobacco notes on the nose. The body is big and fleshy, with plump plum and cassis, and with merlot heading the pack, it’s quite soft. A very satisfying drink, alone or with food.
By the time I thought to mix them, the 2 Bench had been open for 5 days and it still tasted good, a testament to the quality of the winemaking. The Rustico was opened the night before and had opened up a lot. Both wines were good and all the grapes were grown just a few miles apart, so I decided to throw them together to see what would happen.
The result was a harmonious blend – softer than the Zin, racier than 2 bench – with pretty good balance and more complexity. It finished long and lively, with fruity zinfandel notes at the end. A very elegant and quaffable wine, it was warm, inviting, and had a soft touch. Like a well-worn sweater, really.
At $30 and $35, neither wine is affordable enough to mess around with. Unless you’re a blending nut like me who can’t stop playing with her wine, you might not want to mess with them. But, if you can afford it, wine not?
It’s always fun to make a good wine better.
Neither of these wines are available in BC Liquor, you have to get them straight from the wineries.
Rustico Farm and Cellars 2009 Bonanza Zinfandel has 14.3% alcohol and retails for $34.99.
Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2009 2 Bench Red also contains 14.3% alcohol (what a match!) and retails for $29.99.