Blue is a color I associate closely with skies, oceans and depression. . .but it isn’t a hue that is top of mind when I think about wine. No, that would be purple, but I’ll give you it is a short distance on the spectrum from one to the other.
After enjoying a couple of glasses of Waterstone Winery’s 2008 “Study in Blue” with a perfectly medium-rare chunk of Brand Little’s line-caught salmon, however, I filed such thoughts under “never mind.” And I think you’ll concur when you learn that we’re offering this wine at 44% off WSRP (winery suggested retail price) of $45. We have 20 cases available for $29.99 per bottle or $24.99 each when you purchase six or more.
Waterstone’s “Study in Blue” is a wine you’ve never heard of for one simple reason: even though this is the second vintage, it has really never been widely distributed in the retail wine market, even in California. That’s because after it was introduced at a Premier Napa event, a Japanese importer was smitten by this amazing juice and immediately snagged nearly the entire vintage.
That was 2007, and long-time Wine Enthusiast critic Steve Heimoff (now an educator and “evangelist” for a wine conglomerate) rated Study in Blue 93 points, and waxed lustily (in November 2011): “This blend of cabernet sauvignon, syrah and merlot stands up well against far more expensive Napa Valley cult cabs. It’s softly tannic, rich and decadently delicious in blackberry and cherry pie filling, licorice, chocolate, baking spice and sandalwood flavors. Gorgeous, dry and generous. It’s a wine to drink now.” The 2008 vintage reprises many of these same attributes.
Waterstone’s wine-making mantra is simple and altruistic: produce luxury wines at affordable pricing. . .wines for the rest of us. Winemaker Phillip Zorn and partner Brent Shortridge have done just that with a portfolio packed with Napa juice priced at $22 or less. It does populate the higher end as well with cabs and its unique blend, Study in Blue, that I would have more aptly named “Rhapsody in Blue,” because it evokes the sublime, dreaminess so persistent in the ground-breaking jazz of George Gershwin.
Unfortunately in the name game of winemaking, that moniker is already in use by Nissley Vineyards and Winery Estate of Bainbridge, PA, of all places. It is the handle for—get this—a white wine packaged in a cobalt blue bottle with matching blue capsule ($10.90 per bottle).
Study in Blue is a true “sleeper,” a wine that you learn about through word of mouth, or more likely from your local wine guru. . .Big Daddy (though there are 55 pounds less of me to go around these days). Word up, better jump on this deal because when it’s gone, there ain’t no more at Carpe Vino. That same Japanese firm sucked up most of the 2008 vintage, so there is a very limited supply for the U.S. domestic market.
Winery Tasting Notes: With its blue hues and pronounced blueberry aromas, this distinct blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah is a study in blue. Bordeaux varieties provide the framework, while syrah transports the blend to a realm all its own. It’s simply, Kind of Blue.
Alcohol Level: 14.5%
Cases Produced: 1,204
Blend: 39% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot, 25% syrah
Winemaker: Philip Zorn
So roust yourself from the funk you are in and tickle the “Buy Now” button to order your six bottles of the Waterstone’s 2008 Study in Blue. Not sure? If you’re local, come in and get a slurp from Jay, Steve, Beth or whoever is manning the wine bar. If I’m there, I’ll resist the temptation to say “told you so!”