Wine of the month: What's in a blend?

Posted on: 06 June 2011 by Rhian Mainwaring

Your chance to buy a wine that doesn’t exist yet!

Wine disrupt

I was at the London International Wine Fair in London a couple of weeks ago. For me it was mostly about social media and wine communication rather than tasting lots of wine, as in one of my roles I am social media manager for wine importer Thierry’s. 

We thought it was time to shake things up a bit and working in conjunction with The Access Zone, a social media hub at the fair, we created a brand new wine called ‘Disrupt’. We brought together three top winemakers from across Europe and got them to come up with a pan-European super-blend of Grüner Veltliner from Austria, Burgundy Chardonnay and Falanghina from the southern Italian region of Puglia. We then put it up to the test during the fair to some excellent feedback. Using Twitter we created a label using many of the tasting terms given to the wine in the various sessions.

It was an incredibly exciting project and I had to make it my wine of the month because the resulting wine, no matter how unlikely it may sound at first, is really delicious. We are currently looking at various options to make this wine commercially viable and accessible to all as I really think this should see the light of day. So I’m in the slightly unusual situation of recommending a wine that as yet has not been produced. 

Blending tends to have a slightly negative connotation. I’m not sure why but for some reason many consumers see it as inferior. The opposite is actually true. Many of our great wines are blends of multiple varieties; if it wasn’t for blending there would be no Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Chateau Lafite. And even when a wine is made from one single variety, different batches of the same grape variety may be treated differently and then blended afterwards to bring the right balance to the wine. 

Blending is actually rather noble and with ‘Disrupt’ we set out to prove that the unlikely is possible and will actually yield some pretty amazing results. Our three winemakers had never met prior to this year’s fair and hadn’t even tasted each other’s wines. But, professionals as they are, it didn’t take them long to find the distinct elements of each wine and come up with a balanced wine that had interest and integrity. They had to, it was their signatures that would adorn the label. There has been some criticism that this goes against the current trend for regionality, what the French call terroir. Interestingly all three of our winemakers are vocal proponents of regionality in wine but found that in creating this top blend rather than lose individuality they found a beautiful balance in the wine that showed off the best of all three varieties.

I know it’s asking a lot to take something like this on trust, but if you want to help ‘Disrupt’ the wine trade a little and be part of something fun, then sign up for a case. If we can get enough people to commit, we can seriously make it happen. 

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Disrupt!

Pan-European blend

£67.92 for six via Naked Wines.

A most unusual blend of Markus Huber’s Grüner Veltliner from the Traisental in Austria, Falanghina from Puglia made by Giorgio Flessati and Chardonnay from the Mâcon by Emmanuel Laurent from Burgundy house Antonin Rodet. The label reflects some of the adjectives used about this wine, showing the distinct minerality so typical forthe Grüner Veltliner, ripe fruit from the Falanghina given structure from the Chardonnay. A great wine made by three great winemakers across Europe. Be part of a new kind of ‘Disruption’ by bidding for the wine and help to make it happen.

Peter Rosenthal for www.lovethatwine.co.uk

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