Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cadenza, Bridge, and Trio: Three Wines

For the first time ever, Allegro has three reserve reds on the wine list. Here’s a short description of the wines. I have had numerous people ask me about the differences between the wines, so I thought I would write up a short piece trying to start to explain them.....

2005 Cadenza
This is our flagship wine. It was aged two years in French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered. This is meant to be the best wine we can make. When we make Cadenza, it’s not just the best from that vintage, it is a quality level that never changes. The 2005 is only the ninth time in Allegro history that we made a Cadenza. 2007 will be the tenth.
This is a traditional Bordeaux-style red, emulating the best of the St. Emilion or Pomerol regions in the Medoc. It is structured with nice acid and supple tannins. The wine exhibits aromas of dried cherries and leather and spice, and these carry through to the palate. This is a wine that begs to be served with nice beef. It should age gracefully until 2012-2015.

2006 Bridge
Bridge was originally conceived in 2001 as a bridge wine between John’s Cadenza tradition and my own. Now I think of it more as a really good wine, just not quite Cadenza level. Hence the lower price.
It was also aged two years in French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered. This wine has more primary fruit characteristics and a fuller mid-palate. The tannins are still firm, and this wine should peak around 2012-2014, and perhaps live on until 2020.

2007 Trio
This is the collaborative wine that I made with my good friends Brad Knapp (from Pinnacle Ridge) and Joanne Levengood (from Manatawny Creek). If you ever get a chance, please go up and try their wines. They are fantastic winemakers.
This wine came about because I had what I called a “dumb marketing idea.” We always taste each other’s wines each spring, and in 2008, we all realized that we were each sitting on too much great wine. I suggested this collaboration, and it worked out really well.
After getting together a couple times to work on the blend, we settled on a distinctive trio of grapes: Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Each winery kicked in four barrels. I donated 2 Merlot and 2 Cab Franc barrels to the cause; Joanne added 2 Syrah and 2 Cab Franc; and Brad threw in 2 Syrah and 2 Merlot. We blended the wine up at Joanne’s winery and bottled it there as well.
This wine had a good core of dark fruit with light yet firm tannins. It was aged 18 months in French, Pennsylvania, and Hungarian oak barrels—another “three.” It should age nicely through 2012-2014.

1 comment:

  1. I really need to change the pattern of when I read your blog, Carl. I guess I celebrate a long hard day by checking in for some pleasure reading, just before heading to bed. Some of your posts, especially this one, make me thirsty!

    , Lee

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