Wednesday, 2 December 2009

I am writing this on the runway at Heathrow waiting to fly to Pisa for a week-long Italian tasting trip.

Yesterday I collected and prepared 12 full bottle-fresh samples from the Chai of different 2009 'elements' of the Grand Chai Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnays to make the CY and Viogniers for the VC. I then took (or lugged!) these to the UK head office this morning for a blending session with JMS to decide the 2009 final blends.

The 'elements' consisted of the same wines but treated differently; some had malo-lactic, some had barrel ageing (different oaks or age of cask), ferment methods in tanks also differed (yeasts, temperature, lees).

Using all these various components in various proportions we can lift the nose, fatten the palate, sharpen the acidity or increase the palate length. We spent the whole day blending in the professional tasting room until we came to a decision, it takes time as we winemakers are always seeking for the perfect wine!

Sometimes it is good to remove yourself from your normal environment (in my case the Chai) and taste your wines away from home! By the end of the day we had agreed on the blend for the Grand Chai Blanc 2009, CY 2009 and VC 2009.

These wines are scheduled to be bottled in the first week of January so when I am back in the Chai next week I will begin the actual full scale physical blending operation. Blending 3-4 weeks in advance allows the different elements of the blend to be perfectly homogenised prior to bottling.


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