Jeff’s Corner

Hello, Hello, Hello,

Our longest-tenured wine not only has a new label, it also has a new name! Our beloved Cabernet Blanc is now officially on record with the Feds as “Cab Blanc.” With the cost of new labeling, we figured we could save a little money on ink by shortening its name.

Actually, that’s not what really went down; so here’s the true scoop. Every year before we bottle, we have to submit the label (even if the only difference is the vintage) to the “Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau“ (also known as the “TTB”) for approval. Their job is to make sure that the info on the label (much of which is governed by law) is consistent with the wine itself.

We’ve produced Cab Blanc (the wine formerly known as Cabernet Blanc) since at least 1990, but this year the TTB bounced the label back to us and said we couldn’t call it Cabernet Blanc because the name was in violation of varietal labeling laws. (We all know that if a wine is named after a grape variety, like Merlot, it has to be made from at least 75% Merlot, while our Cabernet Blanc is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.)

Well, it turns out that in 1991 a Swiss grape breeder named Valentin Blattner created a grape he named Cabernet Blanc, which is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and an unknown hybrid. Cabernet Blanc the grape, by the way, is not even officially recognized in the US.

We argued, to no avail, that our name should be grandfathered because we produced our wine before the grape was even created, and that it wasn’t officially sanctioned in the US. Now, after 30 years, we had to come up with another name.

Trust me, this caused much angst and distress among all of us, and nothing we came up with seemed to strike a chord. We tried fun names like “Hot Tub Wine” and elegant names like “GCV Sunrise”. Finally, someone said, “Hey, we’ve been calling this Cab Blanc for thirty years, its new name has been in front of us all the time.”  So, we submitted Cab Blanc to the TTB, they approved it, and the rest will become part of Grape Creek legend.

True-to-style, our 2019 is a lovely salmon/pink with an ABV of 13.5%. Dependably our sweetest still wine, the residual sugar is 4.3% (consistent with previous vintages), which equals about 8 grams of sugar per 6 oz glass.  This is sweet, but not near as sweet as, say, Kool-Aid which has 18.75 grams per 6 ounces.

Sweet, fruity and fun, bright aromas of cherry, strawberry and red raspberry flirt with pink carnation, honeysuckle and passion flower. It starts out sweet, but then its crisp acidity smoothly transitions the wine across our palate for a clean, refreshing finish.

Let’s serve this delightful wine cold, between 40 and 45*, with some spicy Buffalo Wings before dinner, and maybe with a bowl of fresh fruit after dinner.

Stay safe, and drink wine!