All About Blends: Three Examples of Old and New-School Blended Wines

Posted May 22, 2015

WineLibrary Staff


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Life isn’t all about black and white. It’s not all Coke and Pepsi. It’s not just Cab or Merlot. Some of the best things exist in between. Life’s little grey areas are full of nuance, like careful business negotiations, or speeding, or a lovely Southern-Rhone blend. Many many years ago, wine producers all over the old-world came to the conclusion that their indigenous grapes worked better together than on their own, and over hundreds of years of trial-and-error established the blends we know and love today. More recently, intrepid winemakers have set about breaking convention with all sorts of crazy, non-standard blends in an attempt to create the most delicious juice possible. We’re fans of both approaches. So here are some options:


2010 L'isle Fort

Chateau L’isle Fort may be a relative newcomer as Bordeaux producers go, but it’s using a tried-and-tested blend that goes back about as far as anybody remembers. Merlot comprises the bulk of the wine, with Cabernet Franc boosting the aromatics, and finally Cabernet Sauvignon filling in the structure and finish.


2013 Gabriel Meffre Cotes Du Rhone Saint-Vincent

Say it with us: GSM. Gee, Ess, Emm. Nope, it’s not the Global System for Mobile Communications that your iPhone uses. It’s Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre; A classic trio of Mediterranean grapes known for making complex, structured wines from the Southern Rhone to the Pacific Northwest. The lovely think about this blend is that it allows winemakers to make truly balanced and nuanced wines at just about any price point, so GSMs are responsible for some of the best value-wines on earth!


2013 Peter Lehmann Layers White

If there is a historical precedent for this blend, we’re not sure we’ve ever heard of it before. But just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s not smart. Semillion is a big, full-bodied grape that forms the basis for this Australian blend. True to its name, other grapes add layers of flavors on top: Muscat and Gewurtztraminer are hugely aromatic grapes adding buckets of spices and flowers to the mix. Finally, Pinot Gris shows up to the party with citrus notes, and a bracing acidity that keeps the wine on its toes.


Item: 87563

750 mL

Retail: $18.99

$14.99 per btl

Product Label.

Peter Lehmann Layers White

91 Cellar Tracker

Item: 88368

750 mL

Retail: $16.99

$9.90 per btl

Product Label.

L'isle Fort

90 Wine Spectator

Item: 88607

750 mL

Retail: $19.99

$15.98 per btl