Throughout the brief history of winemaking and consumption in this country, we’ve evolved from syrupy sweet juice-like wines, to truly imaginative products to help us legally survive that “era that will not be mentioned” like Vine Glo (a concentrated block of grape juice in a can that could be fermented at home), to Screaming Eagle and Silver Oak’s cult-inducing Cabs, and wineries producing award-winning varietals in all fifty states. Over the past few decades, as wine has become more fashionable and accessible, the focus has been primarily on producing singular varietal wines. We’ve seen the popularity of some varietals remain high throughout this time (Cabernet Sauvignon) and others that are merely fads (White Zinfandel); however, no matter the time or the place, it is the varietal wine that has remained the mainstay.
While they are finally starting to generate some interest and acceptance, American blends have long been perceived as wines of a lesser quality or for lack of a better descriptor, cheap. As wine enthusiasts, we all know this isn’t true. Lest we forget about that somewhat famous region of France that you may have heard of- Bordeaux, where all of the wines produced are legally mandated to be made from one to five grapes (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot) and the vast majority (we can think of just a few notable exceptions) of wines produced are blends of these grapes.
Throughout its fifteen year history, Canyon Wind has always produced terroir-driven, varietally focused wines. Our first crush in 1996 produced Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. Over the years, we’ve added Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Tempranillo, and soon, Malbec to our lineup. However, in the past few years we too have embraced the excitement of blends by adding the 47-Ten Series- a blend focused group of approachable and affordable wines; and in 2007, when Jay returned to take over winemaking, he created the fabulous Bordeaux-style blend, IV. While they are blends, they have still remained true to the terroir and the style of Canyon Wind wines.
Let’s jump back in time (we love this!) for a moment. In 2008, while coaching young ski racers in Vail, Jay met Jennifer, who was fundraising for young ski racers. He asked her to watch his dogs for a weekend; when she came over to meet the dogs, they chatted, he poured her a glass of Canyon Wind (Chardonnay, we think…or maybe Tempranillo) and the rest as they say is history (and since Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, we figured a little love story wouldn’t be out of line). While Jay had a lifetime of wine experience and knowledge, it turns out that Jennifer had none. Zip, zilch, zero. It did not take long though to figure out that Jennifer loved wine, was a quick learner and was blessed with a good palate. With this shared passion, Jay and Jennifer spent the next three years trying any and all wines and came to realize that both really loved New World-style, oaky, fruit forward wines.
In 2011, they decided to create a new winery that would focus on fruit-forward blends and embrace new winemaking techniques and technologies- Anemoi Wines. The Anemoi were the mythological Greek gods of wind who were each named for the cardinal direction from which their winds came. The primary gods were Boreas (North Wind), Eurus (East Wind), Notus (South Wind) and Zephyrus (West Wind). Each Anemoi wine is/will be named for the god that best represents its individuality and reflects its growing season. The first Anemoi wine and the one that you will be receiving in this shipment is the 2009 Boreas- a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc and 15% Petit Verdot. 2009 was the coldest year in our vineyard’s history and thus created a wine that we named for the cold North wind, Boreas. Upcoming releases include the 2010 Zephyrus, so named for the warm summer of 2010 that produced the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that combine to create the blend; as well as the 2011 Iapyx, a late harvest Pinot Grigio, named for the god of the Northwest wind (a minor deity).
In addition to the 2009 Boreas, you will also be receiving the 2009 47-Ten Red, a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Tempranillo, 12% Merlot, 12% Syrah, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, and our unreleased 2009 Petit Verdot. Our intent with this shipment was to introduce the first of the Anemoi wines; as well as provide you with both a Canyon Wind varietal and blend, so that you could try them side by side to see what similarities and differences exist and if you prefer one over the other.
As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on Boreas, blends or anything! Send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jay & Jennifer Christianson and Finley