Last night I enjoyed a glass of 2009 13th Street White Palatte. It is an off dry blend of seven different grape varities, packed full of exotic and austere flavours. A really good deal at $14.95. There were only 350 cases produced, it is sold out at the winery. Grab it while you can from VINTAGES.
Did Stratus have it right from the beginning with their signature assemblages White and Red? These high end wines have been produced there since 2000 and are priced at $44 a piece. Road 13 Winery recently released signature blends Stemwinder and Rockpile. The idea was to increase the production of the blends so Road 13 wines could reach more customers. The production of some single varietal wines decreased as a result. All in all, it was a sales and marketing decision.
Marketing decision or not, multiple varietal blends play a very important role in Canadian wine production. Distinct regional flavour is not lost in these wines styles. It is celebrated through the multiple translation of numerous grapes varieties. For a cold climate grape growing country, vintage is a major factor in each years production. The ability to blend expresses the quality of Canadian wines whether it’s a good year or not. With the mosaic of grape varieties grown across this country, often times there is not enough of one variety to justify making a label. Super small production can leave customers disappointed because they can’t access the wines, or wineries disappointed because retailers won’t carry their product because they fear it has unreliable shelf space. Blends, in no way, take away from the small boutique uniqueness of Canadian wine – they just make really good wine available to more fans.
Price point aside, Canadian blends offer great value. Some of my favourites include: Laughing Stock Blind Trust, Rollingdale Riewurztrafelserson, Flat Rock Seriously Twisted, 30 Bench Red, Herder Josephine, Mission Hill SLC Sauvignon Blanc Semillion.