Monday, April 16, 2012

Three's a Charm for this Bordeaux Styled Blend

Originally Published March 2011

Three winemakers, three wineries, three vineyards, three varietals, one wine” is the tagline for Virginia Bordeaux styled blend named “3”. This unique collaborative effort was born from a conversation shared over a friendly beer by a trio of prize winning Virginia wine makers. “Wouldn’t it be fun if…?” and the idea for “3” was born. 
The wine makers Emily Pelton (Veritas Winery), Jake Busching (Pollak Vineyards) and Matthieu Finot (King Family Vineyards) thought this opportunity would not only give the three friends a chance to work together but learn from one another as well, while producing a unique vintage that reflects the blending of wine, terroirs and personalities. Between them, they have more than 30 years winemaking experience, and in creating “3” these three winemakers not only showcased their own individual talents they also selected two barrels from their cellars that they felt would highlight their fellow colleague’s wine.

“3” is a blend of three varietals in equal one-third portions all from the 2009 vintage. The varietals that were chosen were Merlot from King Family Vineyards, Petit Verdot from Veritas Winery and Cabernet Franc from Pollak vineyards. The wineries involved in this collaborative effort, are all located near each other on the Monticello wine trail in the Monticello AVA in central Virginia. The press release for the 3 stated, “the wine is a limited edition (production was 150 cases) that was crafted in friendship and bottled to show unity of the industry.”  

I decided a perfect pairing for the 2009 “3” would be a Mushroom Risotto with gorgonzola, Old Bay seasoned sautéed shrimp and roasted asparagus.    

The color of “3” is a gorgeous dark reddish purple. Since this is a young wine it was decanted for about an hour to an hour and a half. When the bottle was first opened the predominant aroma was red fruit, as time passed the wine opened up revealing quite the full aromatic profile. Darker fruits (plum), leather, currant, spice, cedar and hints of oak emerged as time passed. Dark fruits, leather, woodsy (cedar/maple) and spice are the dominate flavors. “3” does not have a long finish and there are notes of minerality.
After a bite of the risotto, the gorgonzola really makes the dark fruit flavors of the wine pop and adds a crispness to the wine. The creaminess of the risotto cuts “3’s” minerality. Even with the decanting, “3” still has a back bone to stand up and not be over powered the risotto. The the Old Bay seasoning on the shrimp brought forward the spice notes of “3”. The earthy notes of the wine were brought out by the asparagus and mushroom.

Since “3” was a wine born from the concept collaboration that is not often seen but should be encourage and due to its limited production, not many individuals would be able to enjoy this wine. With that in mind, I invited a few friends over to partake in this food and wine pairing. The marriage of “3” and the meal, in particular the risotto, created extraordinary conversation stopping moment several times throughout the meal.

2009 “3” is a remarkable wine born of an idea collaboration, supported by friendship and illustrates that something great can come out of the question “Wouldn’t it be fun… if?