Amuse Barrel Selection 2014
An amusing blend of the five Bordeaux-style reds. This sumptuous blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot showcases the true expression of Bordeaux using superb California fruit.
Imagine having an excess of Stagecoach Vineyard wines available to make a completely off the wall Bordeaux Meritage wine. How Amusing!
You are greeted by a nice ruby red color then taken to notes of cedar and mineral on the nose. Up front in the mouth, bright cherry and plum with slight herbal or touch of spice in the mid-pallet surrounded by the presence of mild tannin. There is a nice, brightly-focused acidity throughout which tends to make the wine seem leaner and not the heavy red it first appeared but that's just not true as the wine will show with its medium body and then a satisfying, if fairly rapid, finish.
French Oak for 22 months, approximately 40% new, 40% one use and the balance neutral.
Bill's method of developing his blended wines is to make the individual wines as stand-alone wines first and then, knowing their individual taste characteristics, he blends them together to create his multi-award-winning blends.
For the Bordeaux style wines this means that he first makes individually; Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each of these is bottled as a stand-alone wine variety and each in their time, have won gold medals in the world's largest competitions for American wines.
For his Bordeaux-style blends, Bill takes these varietal specific wines and blends them together. The concept of the blends is to produce a range of wines that comprise the best qualities of each of the individual wines.
Some of these blends are designed by Bill to pair with particular food styles, for example Entice Cuvee has the unique ability to manage pepper in foods and show the true flavor of the food.
In other blends Bill has been influenced by the five great First Growth Chateaux wines of Bordeaux, for example Ravish Melange was influenced by the characteristics of Chateau Petrus, while Clarissa Vin Rouge was influenced by the characteristics of Chateau Haut-Brion wines.
When all this wine making and blending is done there are still some barrels of these fine wines remaining to which one of his winemaking colleagues recently referred as "an excess of riches."
Amused by this concept Bill decided to select certain barrels of these wines and make a blend, not typical of grand Chateaux, but more like a wine made by legendary Australian winemaker Murray Tyrrell which Murray simply called "Long Flat Red."
Hence we have the Amuse Selection. An enjoyable, everyday red wine made from a blend of exquisite gold medal winning wines and designed to simply quaff.