Innovative blends, creative wines

by Eve Resnick on August 14, 2009

in General

As a French wine professional, I’m always amazed by the creativity of American wine producers. While in France, you identify the wine regions by the type of grapes (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy and Champagne, Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux, Mourvèdre, Grenache or Malbec in the South West…), California is paradise for a lot of varieties, not at all indigeneous to the place but successfully adapted to the local terroir and thus opens the doors to very creative blends.

Dave Corey is the perfect example of this strategy. He grows Mourvèdre, Grenache, Tempranillo, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah for red wines and Roussane, Marsanne and Sauvignon blanc for the whites among others in his Alta Mesa Vineyard. His blends are very unusual for a French wine consumer: his 2006 Hard Core is a blend of 29% Mourvedre, 24% Grenache, 27% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon – impossible in France! And let’s not even think about blending 39% Grenache, 36% Tempranillo and 25% Syrah as Dave did in his 2006 Ground Around. Their quality is outstanding because Dave knows his terroirs, pays attention to the sources of the grapes and doesn’t hesitate to blend varieties for the way they’ll complement each other.

The originality of the wines is also reflected on the label. All the labels were designed by Dave’s wife and testified of a work of love and quality.

Dave Corey’s wines are the exact opposite of the image American wines carry around on the international scene: mono varietal, marketed and branded for a certain category of wine consumer, easy to drink and to forget. Dave’s wines are the proof Americans can make great signature wines – creative and innovative – for the wine lover. And those wines can rivalled with the best European wines at a much better price.


1 Hoke Harden August 18, 2009 at 7:59 pm

I think Dave's wine, and Dave's style of blending, not to mention how he presents his wine to the public, is the "new face" of American wine.

I have recently seen–and thankfully, tasted—so many dynamic, different, engaging, stimulating, evocative and downright exciting wines just lately (with CORE wines being firmly in that list!) that I have really been re-energized and re-engaged as a wine drinker in my own domestic product.

Who wants just another yadda yadda Chardonnay? Not me? Give me something different, something 'personal', not something that hundreds of other people are doing.

While I'm…*ahem* hardly a Millenial, I still like innovation and personal expression, and it trumps me-to wines every single time. Recently found a lovely wine called Remy Three Wives Red Blend that had Syrah, Sangiovese…and Lagrein (!) in it. Wonderful stuff, not terribly pricy (I can afford to try it, hint, hint.) and it's Monty Pythonesque (And now for something completely different…).

I quite like that. And I think lots of other people will too.

2 Evelyne Resnick August 19, 2009 at 4:42 pm

I agree 100% for your comment. By the way David produces some Lagrein wine too – certainly not easy to find!

Since in the US I have been "experimenting" with a lot of wines and brands: buying wines at random in various price points. I had (very) good and (very) bad surprises in every category. Good surprises -whatever the price – came from personal wines or wines carefully crafted by the winery. Bad surprises came from the yadda yadda wine made to sell quantity with no respect for the consumer or the product. Wine is a noble and cultural product that is insulted by poor wine making.

I just hope more consumers will ne aware of that.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: