We are a big fan of the relatively new blog on the Lodi Winegrape Commission’s Web site written by longtime, multi-award-winning restaurant wine consultant, wine journalist, and former wine brand owner, Randy Caparoso.
Along with his small notebook and tiny camera, Randy’s been out visiting vineyards up and down the west coast, writing profiles of wines and winemakers, including a piece he posted yesterday titled, “Food wine or not, Barbera kicks butt.”
We were thrilled to find him focusing on our still-in-barrel Members Reserve 2009 and 2010 Field Blends. Randy quotes Steve several times:
“’The Field Blend,’ Mr. Borra tells us, ‘is sort of a homage to the way my grandfather made wine. He was very Old World — he’d pick the grapes all at once, and everything would go into one vat, no matter what kind of grape it was. Of course, he used wild yeast, and everything was natural — he didn’t know about stuff like sulfur and cultured yeasts — and he’d siphon the wines into one gallon jugs, one jug at a time, one barrel at a time.’”
That’s not too far off from the way we make our modern Field Blend.
Markus, of course, treated Randy to barrel tastings of the maturing wines, which Randy found very much to his liking:
“The 2009 Borra Vineyards Field Blend ($14 $20), which is only now being wakened from its beauty sleep in the barrels, consists of approximately 55% Barbera, 20% Carignane, 14% Petite Sirah and 11% Alicante Bouschet. Tasted out of the barrel mid-January, the wine was wild with raspberries and piles of rose petal and black tea leaves, and tasting of sweet, thick, honeyed framboise (raspberry liqueur), yet completely dry, meaty, and full of zest — lighting up the palate like a finger in an electric socket.”
“Okay, the bad news: only 250 cases of the Borra’s ‘09 Field Blend will be bottled (in early March), and almost all of it will be instantly sucked up by the thirsty, and ever-loyal, members of Borra’s wine club. So if you want in on this wine representing both a piece of history and the beauty of the Barbera grape, you may wish to sign yourself up, pronto!”
“Naturally, Mr. Niggli also gave us a sneak preview of his 2010 Field Blend, slumbering in the barrel, earlier this month. In a word: superfreak. In several more words: the 2010 sports a vivid, almost neon, impenetrable purplish color, with a preserve-like, raspberry liqueur nose as thick as it tastes in the mouth, jam packed with sweet fruit and oak, with hefty underlying tannin. The grape percentages in the 2010 Field Blend: 47% Barbera, 22% Petite Sirah, 18% Alicante Bouschet and 13% Carignane.”
Randy mentioned a price of $14 per bottle of the Field Blend, which should actually be $20.
Knock on wood (a barrel in our case), because if everything goes according to plan, we’ll be shipping out the 2009 Field Blend to all our La Dolce Vita club members this August.
So it’s a good time to join our club.
Read the entire posting at LodiWine.com.