Tasting Blackstone Reserve Wines with Winemaker Gary Sitton

Blackstone is known for its supermarket brand — the company sells over 16 million bottles of budget wines each year — but you may not know about its Reserve lineup, which comprises less than 10 percent of its sales.

Recently I tasted through the Reserve lineup with winemaker Gary Sitton, a veteran of Ravenswood and a devotee of Sonoma County, where Blackstone sources all of its fruit for the Reserve series.

All priced at $22 or less, these aren’t budget-breaking wines, but for the most part they’re perfectly drinkable. Comments on each of the five follow.

2008 Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Chardonnay – Not overly oaked, intriguing with the addition of 3% muscat, from which you can actually taste the citrusy/spicy character. B / $17

2007 Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Pinot Noir - Adds 7% syrah, a traditional Burgundy trick. Not too complicated, with good enough fruit and an earthiness that isn’t overdone. B / $19

2007 Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Merlot - Surprisingly tart, includes 7% cabernet sauvignon, 6% ruby cabernet, and 2% petit verdot. Cherry body isn’t terribly inspiring, but it’s easygoing. B- / $19

2007 Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - Includes 7% cab franc, 4% petit verdot, and 2% malbec. Big and plummy, with minimal tannin. Young and fresh. B+ / $19

2007 Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Rubric - A big mutt of a wine: 55% cabernet sauvignon, 14% malbec, 8% cabernet franc, 8% petit verdot, 7% tannat, 5% merlot. Surprisingly, it’s pretty good, similar in structure to the cabernet but with more nuance and intrigue. A- / $22

blackstonewinery.com


Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>