Friday, November 5, 2010

TN: Longoria 2002 Blues Cuvée

One of the nice benefits to being in a local wine club is access to library wines at fair prices, often after having tasted the wine. Such was the case with the Longoria 2002 Blues Cuvée. This bottling was originally started by Rick Longoria as a means to foist Cabernet Franc upon unsuspecting consumers. Over the years he has shifted its purpose to blending, though Cab Franc has remained a large portion of the blend.

The 2002 vintage has an interesting near 50-50 split along two dimensions. First, it's 54% Cabernet Franc and 46% Merlot. But 30% of the Cab Franc and 26% of the Merlot Came from Westerly (now McGinley) Vineyard in the warmer eastern portion of Santa Ynez, while 24% of the Cab Franc and 20% of the Merlot came from the cooler Alisos Vineyard in Los Alamos. In other words, there are really four evenly divided blending components. The result is a fruit-driven, New World styled wine, but one with structure and complexity.

While this isn't Longoria's most expensive wine, it is the one I've enjoyed most with age on it. In fact, it seems it needs a few years to integrate. For around $25 as a new release, this is a really decent value in wine that hits its stride 5 to 10 years from vintage. I paid a bit more as this bottle came pre-aged, though.
  • 2002 Longoria Blues Cuvée - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    Drinking really nicely. Has the texture of velvet being rubbed against the grain. Creamy, with softness of aged tannins, but still pretty darn tannic and drying. Seems to have both fruit and structure to support further aging. Chocolate, blackberry, cedar, tobacco, anise and coffee on the nose. Fruit showing some advancement, but nothing to worry about. Full bodied, creamy, with nice freshness. A lot of spicy anise flavor on the finish. No rough edges here. Finishes very well. Balanced New World wine with bones for aging I'd reckon.

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