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Jeff’s Corner 5-29-20

Hola, Howdy, and Hello,

Today is a day for Prosperity, in our case the new GCV 2018 Prosperity, the wine formerly known as Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah. Consistently one of my favorite Grape Creek wines, Cab/Syrah (along with Mosaic, Bellissimo, and Serendipity) began the renaissance of our red wine portfolio when Jason became winemaker and Brian purchased the vineyard.

The name change came with the 2016 vintage when the wine emerged from its oak cocoon and took the Grape Creek wine-world by storm. Let’s face it, Cabernet/Syrah is a pretty boring handle, while everyone wants Prosperity. The name change also gave Jason leeway to blend other grapes, although this has not yet been the case.

In fact, the blend of Prosperity has been one our most consistent in the decade I have been writing about our wines. Routinely being about 2/3 Cabernet and 1/3 Syrah, the ’18 is spot on at 66.9% Cab and 33.1% Syrah. The ABV is 14.2%.

Prosperity looks just as good in a glass as it does in a bank (almost, anyway). The color is a rich medium+ ruby/garnet with intricate primary aromas of ripe blueberry, cassis, blackberry, and black olive in harmony with lilac, lavender, white and black pepper, anise, and cigar box.

The palate is sophisticated and stylish, with a velvety mouthfeel and a lingering, well-balanced finish. Subtle hints of sweet oak are supported by judicious amounts of acid and tannin to create an extremely elegant, old-world style wine. Our 2018 Prosperity is worth watching, and shows potential to be one of our best Cabernet/Syrah blends ever.

Let’s pair this with a grilled steak, your choice of cut. I’d go for a strip, while Kath a tenderloin, and finish it with a Gorgonzola and cracked black pepper compound butter.

Compound butter (beurre compose in French) is butter infused with garlic, herbs, spices, wine, or in our case Gorgonzola and cracked pepper. They are delicious, elegant, and easy to make.

This is super simple; blend equal parts crumbled Gorgonzola (in ounces) with softened unsalted butter (in tablespoons) and cracked black pepper to taste. Spread it across wax or parchment paper and roll it up into a tube about one inch in diameter and refrigerate.

Slice a 1/4 inch disc (or more) off the roll and put it on the steaks when they come off the grill to rest. You might want to put some on your baker as well...

Yum Yum, Gimme Some.......

Jeff's Corner

Hello Everyone,

I’d like to take a moment and wish everyone a safe and thoughtful Memorial Day Weekend. To me, this weekend is much more about remembrance and gratitude than hot dogs and celebration. (Kath and I are going to have hot dogs on Monday, however.)  

Memorial Day Weekend is a time to pause and memorialize the approximately 1,355,000 soldiers that have given their lives for our country, with 405,399 in WWII alone. They deserve more respect from us, liberals and conservatives both, than we have been giving them in these most divisive of times.

The following is a repost from exactly six years ago today and has and will continue to be posted as long as there is Jeff’s Corner. I’m proud to have written it, and cry every year when I read it.

Jeff's Corner

Hello, Hello, Hello,

Our longest-tenured wine not only has a new label, it also has a new name! Our beloved Cabernet Blanc is now officially on record with the Feds as “Cab Blanc.” With the cost of new labeling, we figured we could save a little money on ink by shortening its name.

Actually, that’s not what really went down; so here’s the true scoop. Every year before we bottle, we have to submit the label (even if the only difference is the vintage) to the “Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau“ (also known as the “TTB”) for approval. Their job is to make sure that the info on the label (much of which is governed by law) is consistent with the wine itself.

We’ve produced Cab Blanc (the wine formerly known as Cabernet Blanc) since at least 1990, but this year the TTB bounced the label back to us and said we couldn’t call it Cabernet Blanc because the name was in violation of varietal labeling laws. (We all know that if a wine is named after a grape variety, like Merlot, it has to be made from at least 75% Merlot, while our Cabernet Blanc is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.)

Well, it turns out that in 1991 a Swiss grape breeder named Valentin Blattner created a grape he named Cabernet Blanc, which is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and an unknown hybrid. Cabernet Blanc the grape, by the way, is not even officially recognized in the US.

We argued, to no avail, that our name should be grandfathered because we produced our wine before the grape was even created, and that it wasn’t officially sanctioned in the US. Now, after 30 years, we had to come up with another name.

Trust me, this caused much angst and distress among all of us, and nothing we came up with seemed to strike a chord. We tried fun names like “Hot Tub Wine” and elegant names like “GCV Sunrise”. Finally, someone said, “Hey, we’ve been calling this Cab Blanc for thirty years, its new name has been in front of us all the time.”  So, we submitted Cab Blanc to the TTB, they approved it, and the rest will become part of Grape Creek legend.

True-to-style, our 2019 is a lovely salmon/pink with an ABV of 13.5%. Dependably our sweetest still wine, the residual sugar is 4.3% (consistent with previous vintages), which equals about 8 grams of sugar per 6 oz glass.  This is sweet, but not near as sweet as, say, Kool-Aid which has 18.75 grams per 6 ounces.

Sweet, fruity and fun, bright aromas of cherry, strawberry and red raspberry flirt with pink carnation, honeysuckle and passion flower. It starts out sweet, but then its crisp acidity smoothly transitions the wine across our palate for a clean, refreshing finish.

Let’s serve this delightful wine cold, between 40 and 45*, with some spicy Buffalo Wings before dinner, and maybe with a bowl of fresh fruit after dinner.

Stay safe, and drink wine!

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