- Oregon wine harvest fell by 29% in 2020, but growth continues
- Quilceda Creek acquires 22 acres of famed Champoux Vineyards from Woodward Canyon
- Hat Ranch Winery tops Idaho Wine Competition with Cabernet Franc from Lewis-Clark Valley
- Central Oregon Winegrowers schedule summer summit
- Avennia purchases vineyard, tasting room on Red Mountain
- Heat units in Northwest vineyards as much as 29% ahead of last year
- Washington Wine Industry Foundation awards 6 of its 7 scholarships to women
- Kiona, Barnard Griffin toast 40th Red Mountain harvest with fundraiser Cab
- Pandemic prompts Red Mountain wineries to postpone consumer weekend
- Hot, dry climate July report marks finale by Greg Jones at Linfield
Red blends are big winners in Pacific Northwest
Grapes often work better together.
The French, particularly in Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley, have known that for decades – even centuries. In the Pacific Northwest, particularly Washington, wineries have been moving toward more red blends for the past 20 years.
Now, it might just be the largest category of wines. Certainly, we see more red blends than any other style of wine.
The pessimist might say that a lot of red blends include Syrah because that’s often the easiest way to sell the grape – by hiding it. However, our perception has been that a modest percentage of Syrah fills in the midpalate of many red wines, creating a juicy jamminess that enriches the wine in a tangible way.
These days, we see all kinds of red blends, including traditional Bordeaux reds, Southern Rhône wines with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, Super Tuscan styles with Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon – and everything in between. Indeed, it’s a lot of fun to explore various kinds of red blends to figure out what the winemaker had in mind.
Here are 11 red blends from wineries in Washington, Oregon and Idaho that we’ve tasted in recent weeks.