This is a very special, limited release of 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel-Aged Carignan, our first-ever release of Carignan as a single varietal. As soon as these grapes came into the winery, I knew they deserved to stand alone. But that’s not the only special thing about this batch: I worked on this project with my son, Ian, who is not a winemaker but rather a wine enthusiast. There’s a little bit of both of us in this wine: classic and rustic with a little edge. Look for notes of brilliantly racy red and black fruits set to a rich backdrop of toast, herbs, and cocoa.
1000 Stories is made – like craft spirits and beer – in small lots, each unique and expressive of Winemaker Bob Blue’s interpretation of the fruit, vineyards, and barrels whose singular qualities came together to create something new. Each batch offers an opportunity for discovery. Maturing 1000 Stories in new and used bourbon barrels from some of America’s finest bourbon distilleries lends nuance and enhances our signature red fruit and spice notes.
“Years ago, when I was just starting out as a winemaker, it was almost unheard of to get French oak wine barrels and American oak barrels were for whiskey, not wine. But we still needed barrels to age our wine, so we purchased new and used bourbon barrels. Today, American and French oak wine barrels are commonplace, so the inspiration for 1,000 Stories is a nod to the way things were.”
These Carignan grapes come from two old vineyards in Mendocino County, Rucker, and Pallini. These vineyard blocks are head-trained and range in age from 55-88 years providing depth and structure to this wine. Aromas of bright blue and red fruit typical of the Carignan grape can be found in the glass.
Barrels & Aging
The bourbon barrel gives the wine a distinct white smoke note in the aroma. Ian Blue, son of Bob Blue, partnered with his father in the finishing and blending of the wine. This batch collaboration celebrates the bond between father and son.
Total Acidity: 0.56G/100ml
Residual Sugar: 0.47G/100ML
Included in the Box
6x 2016 1000 Stories Batch Blue Carignan (Bourbon Barrel-Aged), Mendocino County
12x 2016 1000 Stories Batch Blue Carignan (Bourbon Barrel-Aged), Mendocino County
Winery: 1000 Stories
Maker: Bob Blue
Bob Blue, Maker & Storyteller
Years ago, when I was just starting out as a winemaker, wine barrels were not widely available and American oak barrels were for whiskey, not wine. But we still needed barrels to age our wine, so we purchased (and neutralized) used bourbon barrels. Today, American and French oak wine barrels are commonplace, so aging 1000 Stories in bourbon barrels is a nod to the way things were. Now, instead of neutralizing the unique nuances of the bourbon barrels, we use them to enhance the complexity of the wine.
1000 Stories is made – like craft spirits and beer – in small lots, each unique and expressive of Winemaker Bob Blue’s interpretation of the fruit, vineyards, and barrels whose singular qualities came together to create something new. Each batch offers an opportunity for discovery. Maturing 1000 Stories in new and used bourbon barrels from some of America’s finest bourbon distilleries lends nuance and enhances Zinfandel’s signature red fruit and spice notes. Because Bob knows a balanced wine can only come from a restrained approach to these intensely flavored barrels, he begins the aging process in traditional French and American oak wine barrels before transitioning lots to the bourbon barrels. This small-lot approach, together with insightful sourcing and careful management in the cellar, elicits the polished character, layered flavors and elegantly bold nature 1000 Stories has become known for.
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IA, KS, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI
I’ve had the 1000 Stories Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Zinfandel before, and I liked it. In particular, I appreciated the fact that it was actually dry, while some other producers making bourbon-barrel aged reds are leaving a bit too much residual sugar behind for my tastes.
The Zinfandel’s moderate complexity is largely attributable to the bourbon notes, which are going to be hit-or-miss for each individual. I like it as an occasional change-up from the more traditional wine flavor profiles.
@kaolis That’s an interesting read. I was unaware of the controversy over bourbon-barrel aged wines. My take is just what I said in my earlier post — I like it as an occasional change-up from more traditional wines. Much in the same way that I occasionally like to have a western (or ‘American’) style gin in my martini rather than a traditional London Dry style.
Do you think we will have any winemaker participation? Having seen this label (the Zin, not the Carignan of course since it’s new and limited) in things like Target stores which made me assume that this label was basically a “grocery-store” type of wine, and trying to get in the “bourbon barrel” marketing trend that some of the big-name producers were doing (which got featured display in retail stores, probably due to producer promotion). I did try the 1000 Stories Zin and it was not bad but not exactly my thing. In honesty, I only bought it because it was on a Target clearance deal, back when they used to do the orange stickers and you’d sometimes find 30 or even 50% off. (if you are in states where Target can sell wine, of course).
There are some things vague in the specs, or maybe I missed it. Is this 100% Carignan(e), or a blend? Why is the origin just “California” rather than a specific AVA? And is there an “e” in Carignane or not? Inquiring minds want to know…
I do think I’d like to try this and will probably go for a 1/2 case, but waiting for some more encouragement to push me over the edge.
This is a big red wine that took on the positive qualities of the bourbon barreling. It has deep leather, charred Vanilla with a hint of dried herbs with raspberry and cherry with notes of smoke on the nose.
Medium to full bodied with medium acidity.
This wine will pairs well with Grilled meat and pasta with a deep red sauce. This Wine is a good value and worth adding to your cellar.
For those of you dissing Bourbon Barrel Wines as a class. There are some really good ones like Cooper and Thief…excellent! So, although I haven’t tried this one…it might be really good. Don’t pre-judge. Wish I had the opportunity to rat this bad boy.
@FritzCat I’ve tried the Cooper & Thief, and wasn’t a fan because it has a bit more residual sugar than I like. I preferred the 1000 Stories Zin, which is drier.
I’ve only tried three or four bourbon-barrel wines ever. Based on that admittedly small sample size, I would agree that (as a class) they are different enough in flavor profile from traditional wines that I understand why some object to them.
That said, I think it’s an argument over nothing more than language. On one hand, it doesn’t really taste like a traditional wine, so some object to calling it wine. On the other hand, it’s made from grapes in exactly the same way that traditional wines are made — the only difference is that the barrels once held something other than wine, and the flavors are affected. Conceptually doesn’t seem any different than charred or toasted barrels, and doing that doesn’t prevent the results from being called wine.