Catherine Blagden, the owner of Blagden Wines. is our guest on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger.
As a prelude to the show, Dan Berger has brought another cellar dweller this week. This is from Nichol and Nichol in the Napa Valley. For some reason they got some Russian River Valley grapes. It’s a 2005 Syrah, it’s really rustic and has some bottle age on it. It is inky, very dark in color. It has some tannins and the fruit is very good.
Catherine Blagden grew up on the east coast, and grew up in a family where they would do wine tastings while she was still a teen One time, she knew a wine was slightly corked, and she told the server and the Sommelier, so after that she got the job of choosing the wines for her family. She thought she would become a doctor, and was pursuing a career in health and wellness. She was hanging out in San Francisco with foodie friends who suggested she check the Davis program. Before starting it, she did a harvest in Cape Town, South Africa, then got her MS in Enology at Davis and met Greg La Follette, who was her mentor. She worked with him for several years on several small Pinot Noir and Chardonnay makers.
Blagden Wines begin in 2006. Her strategy is to hold wine back, to be under the radar, and she doesn’t push sales too much. She has now moved to Santa Barbara and will be looking to start a new chapter for Blagden Wines there.
Dan says that Catherine’s wines have good acidity so they can’t be drunk right away, they need time to develop in the bottle. She has selected grapes from cooler climates where acidity is the feature. The Sangiacomo vineyard has incredible longevity. This is from the Petaluma Gap. This wine is a reflection of that new AVA. The Roberts Road property will be emblazoned in history in a few years
Steve asks about tannin versus acidity. Tannin is a physical astringincy that comes from tannins in seeds and skins. Dan explains, you have to be careful, if you have high alcohol, you have to get your harvest dates correctly and capture the right acidity. If you have too much tannin and not enough acidity, the wine is out of balance. Catherine met the Sangiacomo family when he was working with Greg La Follette.
Dan says personality of a wine counts more than points. He says buy it, cellar it and it will be great. Late in the show we learn that Laura Ness, a wine columnist from Los Gatos area, sent Dan Berger an email to introduce Catherine to Dan.