Red blends: No rules, just delicious wine

By on June 14, 2015
Great Northwest Wine top 100 wines of the year.

Red blends rule the landscape in Washington, and they may contain pretty much any grape the winemaker desires. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

In the Old World, there are general rules. And sometimes specific rules.

For example, in Bordeaux, winemakers may use up to six different red grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carménère. No Syrah, no Tempranillo, no Grenache, no Sangiovese.

In Chianti Classico, a Chianti isn’t a Chianti if it has Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon in it (then it’s a Super Tuscan).

Here in the New World, winemakers must abide by no such restrictions. A Cabernet Sauvignon may include Mourvèdre, Dolcetto, Montepulciano, Petite Sirah or anything else that the winemaker thinks will make it a better wine.

Of course, many winemakers stick by the Old World rules, particularly Bordeaux blends. You won’t find a bit of Syrah in these wines.

But it is their choice, not the law.

Here are a dozen delicious Washington red blends we’ve tasted in recent weeks.

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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