Saturday, March 16, 2019

Blue Rock Wines Deliver Old World Style And Memorable Taste

Blue Rock Vineyard Wines - Photo by Dave Nershi

Blue Rock Vineyard was first settled by Italians who worked at a nearby winery. The winery maintains that Old World character and even the original olive trees, which are now more than 140 years old.

Sonoma Smooth

Over the last oh-so-many years of uncertainty in the world, one thing has remained sure: Baby Blue is a remarkable Sonoma blend. I first discovered this sterling Blue Rock Vineyard wine during a board meeting in Orlando.

As executive director, I was in charge of making dinner arrangements and selecting the wine. Baby Blue, a blend of the five five Bordeaux grapes plus Syrah, caught my eye and was ordered up for the notoriously thirsty board members.

Baby Blue was silky smooth and, at less than $30 (although liberally marked up at the restaurant), was an astounding value. Since then, we’ve enjoyed this wine frequently.

Beyond Baby Blue

We recently had the opportunity to taste three current releases and one was quite a surprise. I like Blue Rock for a number of reasons. Paramount is the great wine and I also dig the minimalistic packaging. Elegant, clean and striking – like the Blue Rock wines.

New Orleans crayfish with Blue Rock Cabernet
Sauvignon and Baby Blue Blanc

Until recently, I’ve thought of Blue Rock mainly as a red wine producer, but they have white wine in their portfolio. For the first time, we tasted a Blue Rock white wine – the 2017 Baby Blue Blanc. This is a blend of 91% Sauvignon Blanc and 9% Viognier.

We popped open the Baby Blue Blanc and the 2015 Cabernet at our Mardi Gras party. Lesson One: Baby Blue Blanc goes quite well with crayfish and other spicy Cajun food!

This is a clean, precise wine. The acidity is softened by the Viognier, which also adds some nice aromatics. Barrel fermentation and whole cluster pressing give a nice complexity.

It’s an appropriate partner for the original Baby Blue – approachable and each glass beckons another. It retails for $24.

Baby Blue’s Big Brother

Blue Rock Cabernet is an impressive wine. Get this. The 2015 Cabernet is 98.9% Cabernet Sauvignon with less than 1% each of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Syrah. I’m not sure what 0.05% of Malbec contributes, but who am I to argue with the delightful final results?

There were 934 cases produced. Grapes all come from the Blue Rock estate vineyards in Alexander Valley.

Blue Rock Cabernet Sauvignon is more substantial that its Baby Blue sibling. There is an emphasis on dark fruit, blackberry and cola. The tannins are silky and so this wine is ready to drink now or age for a few years. SRP is $49.

The 2016 Baby Blue is a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 6% Syrah, 6% Malbec 5% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. The pieces fit together for a wine that is impressive with rich flavors and a sinfully smooth texture.

Blue Rock Vineyard wines are memorable and the perfect pick for your next special occasion.

Full disclosure: These wines were received as a marketing sample.

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