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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 91 Points – Editor’s Choice
SF Chronicle – Gold
Wine Enthusiast 91 Points