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Solera: a set of barrels in a winemaking process for aging wine by blending multiple vintages over time. A portion of the wine from the solera barrels is bottled each year and then refilled from the next vintage. In this way, the wine is allowed to integrate and age in perpetuum to develop complexity, while also retaining freshness with the introduction of younger fruit-forward wine each year.

Winemaker Gary Robinson started Left Bend Winery in 2010 with a focus on sourcing fruit from small, family owned vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains along the California coast between San Francisco and Watsonville. Knowing that the acidity and tannins of Santa Cruz Mountain fruit was perfect for aging and the development of complex flavor and aroma profiles, he embarked on a long-term project to develop a small solera. Each year, a set of Left Bend’s best barrels for aging are selected for addition to the solera. Today, the most recent bottling of the solera, Mashup V7, is a blend of ten vintages from seven different Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards — a unique expression of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA over both time and vineyard geographies.

From its beginning, Mashup constitutes about equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Fractions of other varietals, including Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Tempranillo, are occasionally added to impart structure and complexity.

Wine Enthusiast & San Francisco Chronicle

Mashup V6

Wine Enthusiast 91 Points – Editor’s Choice

“This solera-style, non-vintage blend of multiple grapes that began in 2010 is a fun experiment to track each vintage. Aromas of blackberry jam, cracked pepper, violet and graphite slide into a focused palate that pairs charred meat and crushed lava-rock flavors with purple flowers and açai fruit. This one was bottled in May 2020.” WE

Mashup V5

Wine Enthusiast 91 Points – SF Chronicle – Gold
“This solera-style blend of many grapes and vintages starts with aromas of black plum, dark berry, violet and charred meat. The palate is fruit-driven at first, with a burst of blackberry paste, followed with the more earthy and stony flavors, and a zesty pepper spice in the finish.” WE

Mashup V4

Mashup V3

SF Chronicle – Gold

Mashup V2

Wine Enthusiast 91 Points

“This fascinating non-vintage solera blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from five vintages (2010–2014) offers elegant touches of licorice, blackcurrant and lavender on the deep nose. Blackberry, cedar, sandalwood and incense flavors mesh with a dried tea-leaf element on the palate.” WE

Mashup V1

Wine Enthusiast 91 Points – SF Chronicle Double Gold
“A perfectly named wine, this is a 50 percent Syrah, 46 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 4 percent Cabernet Franc blend with equal quarters from the 2010 through 2013 vintages. Aromas of purple flowers and fruits meld with beef jerky, ponzu sauce and black pepper on the complex nose. The palate is silky and holds to a tight line of plum and blueberry skins.” WE