Our current wine making goal is to learn the flavor of each grape varietal grown at Burbank Ranch. We want to know what each grape type tastes like, all by itself, without blending and without significant influence from the barrels it is aged in. Consequently, our initial releases will be single variety designations such as Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, and the like.
As we learn about our grapes, we will start to introduce blends. For example, in France, the Bordeaux wines - referred to by the English as "Claret," is commonly a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. The French goal is to produce the same taste, year-after-year, from each vineyard. To achieve this, they mix varying amounts of these five grapes, in varying percentages to achieve consistency. Consequently, these wines do not list the grapes included each year. They list the location from which the grapes were grown.
We grow grapes that will blend well and are commonly blended together in their native lands. Temparnillo and Garnacha grapes are blended in Spain; Sangiovese and international grapes are mixed to produce "Super Tuscan" wines in Italy; Syrah, Mourvedre, and Grenache grapes are blended in the Rhone region of southeastern France; and Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot grapes are blended to produce Bordeaux wines in the Garonne River valley of southwestern France.
We plan to start to produce blends like these, starting with our 2013 reds.
At Burbank Ranch fermentation is taken to the complete metabolism of sugar to alcohol. All the wines are, therefore, “dry.”
Our white wines are aged in stainless steel barrels for one year. Our white wines reflect the flavors and aromas of the underlying grape.
Our red wines are aged in “neutral” oak barrels for 18 months to bring out the natural flavor of the grapes. Generally, at 12 months, a portion of each red wine is placed in medium “toast” new oak barrels to pick up desirable barrel flavors. Then, at the time of bottling, the neutral and new oak barrels are blended.