2013 "Shou" (Red Bdx Blend) - Avonlea Vineyard 750ml

2013 "Shou" (Red Bdx Blend) - Avonlea Vineyard 750ml


The Wine:

This wine is my homage to the great wines of Bordeaux. My affection for these classical wines surely was influenced by the third red wine I had ever tasted, a 1966 Chateau Lascombes from Margaux. Unforgettable! As Southwest Michigan’s climate is similar during the growing season to Bordeaux, one can expect a wine with some of the same classical characteristics. The blend in 2013 is 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. The deep ruby color accompanies aromas of cedar, red currant, fresh plum and spiced berries. Thanks to the extra dollop of Merlot, the palate is already smooth, though youthful and concentrated, with lovely red raspberry, cranberry, and a sweet/tart burst of fresh berry compote on the long refreshing finish. The wine was aged in 20% New Vicard Medium Plus toast Bordeaux barrels with the remainder being mostly neutral Vicard. The conservative use of new oak allows the delicious fruit of this wine to be in the forefront. I don’t like the wood frame to detract from the beautiful picture.

Harvested: October 20-30, Sugar 23.5 brix, pH 3.59, Total acidity .57, Alcohol, 13.4%, 166 cases, 2 Magnums, and 3 five liter large format bottles.

Food Pairing:

Beef pot roast with potatoes, carrots, celery, and herbs slow cooked to perfection. Then, cold slices of the same beef the next day with a delicate mustard for brunch! Grilled rack of lamb medium-rare with black pepper, crushed garlic, and olive oil. Vegetarian: Roasted Eggplant dishes, savory lentil stew with lots of onions, garlic, and vegetable boullion. This is a comfort wine for comfort food!

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The Vintage and Vineyard:

The Bordeaux grapes did particularly well in 2013, giving us our largest crop to date while achieving perfect ripeness and excellent balance between sugars and acidity.  The bonus was an extra large crop of Merlot that rounds out this wine and makes it silkier in the near term.   Our Bordeaux grapes are planted in two sections of our Avonlea vineyard with the largest block being grown in what looks like rocks and gravel- the kind of “soil” that gives Graves its name.   The stones reflect and hold heat stimulating extra ripeness there amongst the grape berries.  Additionally, there is always a mineral note in this wine that most certainly comes from these stones which are shale, granite, fossilized Crinoids, and the occasional Indian arrow head.

Winemaker’s Comments:

As my Shou is usually at least 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, I toyed with the idea of not including all the Merlot we harvested to keep the wine more consistent with past vintages.   But then I like to make a wine that Mother Nature gives me so, here it is!   The advantage is that the extra Merlot will make the wine more accessible sooner in it’s life.   So while you are waiting to drink the 05, 08, 10, 11, and 12, you can enjoy this wine...