Disclaimer: Do not try this at home. You could ruin your wine.
If the average wine enthusiast were to gather a handful of single varietal wines and attempt to combine them them into award-winning Virginian Bordeaux blends it might spell disaster, both for the perfectly good wines sacrificed for the experiment and for the tablecloth.
A lifetime of smelling and tasting and blending trials creates super-tasters like our consulting wine-maker Stephane Derenoncourt. He tastes and assesses the barrel samples of each of our five Bordeaux varietals from the previous year. By this time, the 2010 vintage had been in barrel since October of 2010; a year in oak. The character of each varietal with the benefits imparted by French oak had matured and we were now moments from meeting the Boxwood and Topiary 2010 blends.
Vintage blending is a thrilling event in any winery. The end game of beautifully rounded, complex wines is before the wine-makers and it has been a year coming.
When this day arrives each fall, we know what the blends will be generally: Boxwood is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Topiary is Cabernet Franc and Merlot, sometimes with a touch of Malbec. Stephane determines, according to his assessment of the nose and taste of each varietal , the percentage of each varietal used in each blende. d wine
One needs to be acutely aware of the role of each wine in the final blend: For taste, for flavor, yes. But also for their qualities as they age.
It takes a little chemistry, some math, decades of experience, and a palate bordering on super human to get the winning blend on the first try. Stephane always does. That's not luck, that's years of back-breaking work in vineyards and wineries.
And that is how the 2010 varietals merged to become the Boxwood and Topiary wines which you have not yet met. They are staggeringly beautiful and intense. But you will have to take our word for it. They are back in tank in the chai blending now.
This inital meeting of the 2010 Topiary and Boxwood blends and the people who made them is brief. Just a quick kiss and then they're gone. Shortly, they will be bottled only to rest there until we are all another year older.