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It’s Right Bank Day,

What? Right Bank? Just like in 2015 when our long-tenured Cab/Syrah crawled into a chrysalis and emerged as Prosperity, our 2019 Merlot has done the same, coming out of its cocoon as our super new “Right Bank.”

Why the name change? A few reasons. First, even though I feel our Merlot has been one of our best wines, it never got the air play it deserved. The uniqueness of the new name should help spark some curiosity in old and new GCV fans, plus give us more flexibility regarding label laws.

To be called Merlot, it must be made from at least 75% Merlot. Right Bank will most likely always be a Merlot dominate blend, but now Jason will have much more freedom to blend different varietals without handcuffs. Watch for some Cabernet Franc in future vintages. Our first ever Right Bank is 55% Merlot, 23% Petit Verdot, and 22% Cabernet Sauvignon. The ABV is 13.7%.

So, how did we come up with the name “Right Bank?” This simple map below will explain (thanks winelibrary.com). Bordeaux is one of the most famous wine regions in the world; it is nestled into the southwestern corner of France and borders the Atlantic Ocean. We often talk about it in terms of the “left bank” and the “right bank.”

We can see the Dordogne River (flowing from the east) merging with the Garrone River (flowing from the southeast) just north of the town of Bordeaux into what is called the Gironde Estuary. It goes on to empty into the Atlantic Ocean. The Gironde divides Bordeaux into two distinct growing regions, called the “Left Bank” and the “Right Bank.”

The Left Bank is planted primarily with Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Right Bank Merlot. The terroir (in part, the soil associations) are very different in each. The Left Bank is porous, gravelly limestone with good drainage that is best suited for Cabernet, while the Right Bank is dense red clay that Merlot thrives in.

Both produce some of the world’s most sought-after and coveted wines. The Médoc in the Left Bank is home to, among other first growths, Château Lafite-Rothschild and Château Haut-Brian. Pomerol in the Right Bank brings us Château Pétrus, which is often 100% Merlot. The Left Bank features powerful wines with huge structure, while Right Bank wines are softer and more sensual.

Now, on to our exciting (and groundbreaking) 2020 Right Bank. The color is a classic medium+ garnet with a touch of ruby in the rim. Hints of soft, sweet oak form a backdrop for complex, layered aromas of rich, ripe black cherry, blueberry, red currant, and blackberry that mingle with floral notes of lilac, violet, and red rose petal.

The wine opens up quickly in the glass, and the palate shows a soft, silky mouthfeel that totally belies its youthfulness. Our Right Bank features a lot of fruitiness up front, and progresses to a delicate finish with well-balanced acid and delicate tannins. This wine is destined to be a new fan-favorite with a very broad palate appeal.

This great new wine will first be released to our Black Label Wine Club members in October, and in the tasting rooms later this year. Let’s serve this beauty around 60* with a classic roast pork loin and potatoes, carrots, and gravy.

As always, thanks for tuning in…