I have a keen interest in blending. It may be between different blocks of Scherrer Vineyard Zinfandel for the Old & Mature Vines, or different vintages for the Zinfandoodle, or different clones and/blocks of Pinot Noir, or different barrel types, or as in this case, different varieties: Syrah and Grenache. I already blend these fine partners to produce our dry rosé and there is a long tradition of blending them in the Southern Rhone Valley of France.
I enjoy serving this wine to people who don’t know what it is because they typically think it is a richer-style Pinot Noir. Why? Maybe I just like Pinot Noir and see other reds thru a certain lens? Rather, I think the Grenache simply gives a nice perfume and acidic central thrust while the Syrah provides plushness, darker fruits and ‘comfort.’ No Mourvedre was harmed in the production of this wine, by the way. Unlike Pinot Noir (in general), Huntsman suits beef and tomato-based dishes well.
2014 is slightly more reflective of a drought-winter vintage. We find somewhat firmer structure, more concentration, and dark fruits in the red wines we made vs 2013 as an example. There’s a bit of that earthy/dusty thing like in the 2017 Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel, this lanolin thing I get from highly aromatic Syrah woven though these “Grenachey floral” notes yielding something like a lingerie sachet. It is difficult to discern between the red and dark fruits. There seems to be an integration of the aromas that is both vexing and compelling.