Blue Rock Baby Blue Red 2020
The 2020 vintage begins with polished aromas of blackberry, dark currant, pencil shavings, hint of peppercorn, tilled earth, cedar and vanilla bean. Rich flavors of both black and red fruits, savory spices, hints of black tea and espresso, and just the right touch of toasty oak in the background suggest that this wine will enjoy a long evolution.
Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Syrah, 2% Malbec
Blue Rock is a historic, private destination in the heart of the Sonoma/Napa wine country. The winery, vineyard, and gardens were established in the 1880s by Italian immigrants. Originally named Villa Maria, the winery did not survive Prohibition. Other families attempted to farm the property, but it fell into foreclosure in the late 1980s.
Kenny and Cheryl Kahn came upon the rundown estate in 1987 and promptly fell in love with the beauty of the hillside location and the bucolic Alexander Valley. The estate suffered from years of neglect, and the derelict vineyard needed replanting. Kenny and Cheryl have spent 32 years renovating the original winery and estate cottage, as well as establishing winemaking and production facilities. The Winery, guesthouse, and gardens have now been upgraded to a true \ luxury standard and with the singular vision of creating a world-class wine estate in the European tradition.
Blue Rock is family-owned, family-farmed and certified sustainable. The name originates from the soil studded with blue pebbles, rocks, and boulders of serpentine. The serpentine rock contributes to the unique flavor and aromatic profile of the wines deriving from the vineyard. Comprised of 40 acres, the certified sustainable vineyard is planted to the five Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec, and Syrah. Vineyard work and harvest are done by hand, with attention to detail and process. Our workers are full-time and enjoy a year-round relationship with the vines which makes for better quality.
Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.