Friday, March 16, 2012

Consensus Blending -- 2012

It was hard to believe that over a year had passed since Chris and I had the great experience of being part of the team that blended the award winning 2009 Consensus wine for Keswick Vineyards in Virginia.

But it had been. We were part of that team during early December 2010 and last weekend we headed back to the winery to defend our title, so to speak.

Truly, defending was a long shot. We were unable to attend on the same weekend as the rest of our team mates from last year, and history says that the winners of the previous year usually come in last. In fact, we had heard that the other members of last year's team had done just that on the day they attended.

The day though is not about winning, although I will tell you that winning is nice, but it is about time at the winery with the winemaker, Stephen, and the owners, and other members of the wine club devoted to blending a good wine.

This year was no different.

We worked through the morning trying to blend the 2011 Consensus. There was no 2010 release. The wines all had very different character. The wines this year were Norton, Merlot, Touriga, and Syrah. By noon we had gone through 12 different blends before settling on our final blend.

After lunch and a break we reconvened to judge the ten blends of the day. The judging was tense and we felt really good when we found out that our wine made the top four blends f the day--and then the top four. But, alas, our wine was judged only fourth best of the day. We of course felt that it was better--but the wine that won was a good wine too, in fact we had judged it better than ours. That winner is competing against the other three "day" winners to be crowned the 2011 Consensus wine. That decision should be announced soon.

So what is the day about at the winery?

Getting together with newly made friends to enjoy wine and learn more about what it takes to make wine. That, in the end increases our enjoyment of the final product that we select from the shelves of the stores and wineries where we buy them.

Thanks again to the great people at Keswick for allowing us to disrupt the flow life at the winery and spend some quality time with them.

-- Bob Doan, Denver, CO

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