B Cellars, based in California’s Calistoga, styles itself as a “negociant” winery — a producer which buys grapes from all over the place, then blends them into a product that is, theoretically, greater than the sum of its parts.
With cryptic, numerical names, these wines are all interesting combinations of grapes you don’t often see.
2010 B Cellars Blend 23 is a Napa Valley blend of 47% Chardonnay, 35% Sauvignon Blanc, and 18% Viognier. The Chardonnay character is strongest here, surely due to the barrel aging the wine goes through, giving it that unmistakable Chardonnay meat-and-wood character. Would like to try this wine in an unaged version. B / $35
2008 B Cellars Blend 24 is a blend of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Sangiovese (30%), Syrah (20%), and Petite Sirah (20%). Compared to the tough 2007, this rendition is very fruity, almost Zin-like in its jamminess. Petite Sirah is probably the varietal that’s most forthcoming, peppery but also full of strawberry character. I don’t feel like it comes together in a particularly great way, drinking more like an easy supermarket wine than a complicated blend. B / $45
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- Tasting Report: San Francisco Vintners Market 2010