I find that many wineries take two different approaches to blends. The first is to make the blend their grand vin - top wine. The best lots are used to build the best wine possible. Often with this approach, the same cultivars are used to create the blend. The cépage may change - or it may stay exactly the same - but the building blocks generally are the same each year. Perhaps certain vineyards, or blocks, are selected for the vintage characteristics each provide. What is "leftover" after the blend is finalized can then be sold as varietal wine or different blend (or off in bulk anonymously).
The second approach is to create a blend after all the varietal, single-vineyard, and premium blends have been finalized. This approach can be perfect for creating great value wines - if the winemaker still takes care in making sure the blend works. All too often, simply throwing all the "leftover" wine together doesn't produce a high-quality wine. Today's wines are examples of both these approaches, and both are beautiful wines in their own right.
|Matthiasson 2010 Red Wine|
|Cabot Vineyards 2007 Klamath Cuvee|