2004 Blend 25
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from B Cellars.
Mission Codename: Love Potion No. 25
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Recover Agent Red, missing in action since being sent on a mission to B Cellars to taste their Blend 25
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: B Cellars
Wine Subject: 2004 Blend 25
Winemaker: Kirk Venge
Agent Red is missing action. He was sent to B Cellars in Napa, California, to taste their renowned Blend 25. At last check in, Red was nearing the winery – but he has not been heard from since. Read Agent White’s mission report below to find out whether he was able to recover Agent Red, or if Red is lost for good…
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark purple, almost black with an inky quality and thick slow legs
Smell – Medium intensity on the nose with tart blackberries and cherries, toasted oak and hints of leather
Feel – Full-bodied, almost chewy in nature, and dry with solid tannins that fade revealing its great flavors
Taste – Juicy ripe and tart blackberries and cherries balanced against oak with layered flavors of black pepper, mocha and spice
Finish – A great long and clean finish that tapers smoothly and continues to reveal its flavors
Conclusion – The Blend 25 is a delicious combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with each varietal complementing the other and also showing the strengths of each. The juiciness of the Syrah balances perfectly the intensity and solid tannins of the Cabernet. If you are a fan of either varietal, then you’ll love this wine.
Agent White Reporting.
Begin live Mission Update.
Agent Red is missing and I have, once again, been called upon to preform reconnaissance and, if necessary, extraction of an AWOL Wine Spy. Why some of my fellow spies get the glamorous missions that get them in too deep at times, while I am stuck at Central Command until its time to perform a recovery, is beyond me.
Making my way to Napa in our Spy Plane, I check Agent Red’s locating beacon on my handheld. Good. I see that he has not moved in several hours. At least this will make the recovery easier.
Now at Red’s hotel I can tell that he is not in the room reserved for him by Central Command. Instead, I find the he is in the Presidential Suite. Great, I get to explain this to Wine Spies Comptroller, Dr. Decimal.
Deftly bypassing the electronic lock on the door I am inside. Agent Red is not in the bedroom. Instead, I find him under a pile of blankets, in front of the rooms massive fireplace. He is clutching a notepad and is surrounded by dozens of crumpled pages. Next to him is a mostly full bottle of red wine. I recognize it as a bottle of Blend 25 from B Cellars. At least he did something right by recovering the wine.
Without waking Red, I gently take the notepad from him. Here is what is written on its single remaining page.
Blend 25, I must tell you how I truly feel
Being with you feels surreal
Never shall I kiss another’s lips
After kissing you and taking sips
Blend 25, your rich red beauty
Sharing you is now my duty
Words simply can’t express
Your shining beauty and finesse
Blend 25, you mean so much to me
I love you forever, that I guarantee
Eternal bliss is where I’m bound
Near you, everything is sound
My heart’s for you, I hope you like it
Because loving you, I will never quit
I look forward to our next moment together
With you, life cannot become any better
Blech! With writing like this, I’d stay lost, too!
Oh, well, while I am here I may as well taste the wine and offer my own report (see Tasting Profile Above).
I am back at Central Command. Agent Red is nursing his pride. He claims that tasting Blend 25 put him at a loss for words. While I do agree that the wine is incredible, his performance during this mission was questionable at best.
That all behind us now, I will say that I love Blend 25. It is a very good wine.
B Cellars, based in Napa Valley, takes a slightly different approach to its expert wine making. The focus at B Cellars is blending. This is evident, not only among the B Cellars team, but also among their wines. Each wine, or potion, is a unique proprietary blend that highlights the strengths of each component varietal and balances with its other varietals. I’m sure, once you’ve tasted these wines, you know why us spies call B Cellar’s wines Love Potions.
As for Agent Red, he’s on temporary leave. With a bottle of Blend 25.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the B Cellars Tasting Room can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards and Accolades:
94 Points – Wine Enthusiast Editor’s Choice. Distinctive blend of Cabernet & Syrah
About This Wine:
Blend 25 has proven to be a stalwart bottling for B Cellars; clearly a wine of great pride and distinction. The 2004 vintage Blend 25 begins boldly with a dark, deep purple color opening the door to a collage of powerful fruit, layered evenly from the beautiful nose at the beginning to a subtle finish on the palate. The wine has superb volume of black cherry, blackberries, sweet black fruit and a hint of espresso and licorice at the onset. It is followed by a loud and vibrant array of black stone fruits, clove, and hints of barrel vanilla. The texture is firm and balanced with symmetrical parts of sweet ripe tannin and acidity. The fleshy and moderately chewy mid-palate pushes on to a generous and memorable finish. Enjoy now through 2016.
Blending Talents, Experience and Fine Napa Wines:
Just as the blending of two or more world-class wines can make an even more palatable potion, the uniting of two over-achieving entrepreneurs can create a union that is more effective than either one alone.
When B Cellars’ founder Jim Borsack first encountered his partner Duffy Keys at a fourth of July barbeque in 2002, both executives were exploring new life paths in the wine business. Over a drop of the good stuff, of course, their journeys became intertwined when they discovered that they not only shared the same tastes in wine but were also on parallel missions to acquire vineyard property.
In the spring of 2003, they scrapped their solo endeavors, formed B Cellars, and got serious about structuring a first-rate wine company predicated upon two absolute principles: first, to produce exceptional artisan wines, season after season, by employing a multi-vineyard strategy, and second, to develop distinct flavors by blending wines from mutually complementary varietals.
Not long after they met the third key player, Kirk Venge named “One of the Top 20 New Winemakers in the World” by Food & Wine Magazine (October 2005). Kirk brought with him a 37 year winemaking legacy via his father, Nils, and a keen understanding of the Napa appellation. A bond was established almost immediately. “With Kirk’s passion for great wine, first-hand knowledge and commitment to excellence, it quickly became apparent that he was the ideal winemaker for B Cellars,” said Jim.
All team members were in concert with the idea of blending the finest red wines from the Napa Valley Appellation, and Kirk was given the mandate to create three proprietary blends of consummate quality from year to year.
The B Cellars name and logo stand for a commitment to seasonless excellence. The letter ‘b’ and the degree symbol º refer to BRIX, a wine term which defines the optimal sugar/alcohol content in grape juice that indicates the potential for greatness.
B Cellars is committed to the artisan approach, creating perfectly balanced and complex wines. We are confident you will enjoy them and be proud to share them with friends and family.
Bottling Date: July 01, 2006
Harvest Date: October 2004
Varietal Notes: 66% cabernet sauvignon, 34% syrah
Production: 757 Cases