During the winemaking process, winemakers often enhance a wine with other wines by blending it, even in tiny amounts, to create a slightly different final result. They do this to enhance the color, tannin level, texture, and even flavor.

Blending is common in winemaking, creating new wines with exceptional character and taste. Each grape type is different, so the objective is to make a new, best red blend wine that improves the original profile and creates a slightly different flavor and texture.

Jessup Cellars has created its “Art of the Blend” series to create blends that stand out. The latest releases include the best red blend wines available for purchase, including Table for Four, Juel, Manny’s Blend, Rougette, and Graziella.

“Table for Four”

This wine recalls when one of the owner couples took an unlabeled bottle with them to dinner. While they both ordered different menu items, the wine seemed to pair perfectly with both. Their comment, “this wine would be perfect for a table for four,” led to the naming of the blend.

The wine is also a blend of four wines with Cabernet Sauvignon in the lead and is a prime example of what a “left-bank” luxury Bordeaux-style wine can be in Napa Valley.

The 2019 “Table for Four” vintage is a wine of distinction broadly anticipated by wine enthusiasts. With ripe black cherry and blackberry notes, the luscious fruit is accompanied by warm and inviting aromas of baking spice and dark cacao. Fruit and spice components interplay, and fine, compact tannins give this wine the structural integrity to age for many years.

Technical Notes for Table for Four

  • Composition: 61.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26.5% Cabernet Franc, 4.2% Petite Verdot, 3.5% Petite Sirah, 2.7% Malbec, 1.1% Merlot
  • Appellation: 100% Napa Valley
  • Aging: 22 months in 70% new French oak barrels
  • ABV: 14.9%


Another of Jessup Cellars’ best red blends, Juel, is named for one of the owners’ father. The name Juel is Norwegian for “joy.”

Executive Winemaker Rob Lloyd has created a blend using the cool-climate Merlot from Napa’s Los Carneros because of the ideal conditions and longer growing season available in the vineyards near San Pablo Bay.

The 2018 vintage of the best red blend wine, Juel, is well-balanced with firm tannins, moderate acidity, and full-bodied mouthfeel. Fruit forward on the palate, this wine bursts with flavors of black fruit compote, citrus blossoms, mulling spices, and cinnamon that gracefully develop into a nice lingering finish.

Juel is the perfect fireplace wine and will pair wonderfully with glazed duck breast, leg of lamb, or stuffed portobello mushrooms.

Technical Notes for “Juel”:

  • Composition: 44.4% Merlot, 39.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.4% Petite Verdot, 6.4% Cabernet Franc, 3.7% Petite Sirah
  • Appellation: 100% Napa Valley
  • Aging: 22 months in 65% new French oak
  • ABV: 14.9%

“Manny’s Blend”

This next best red blend wine was named Manny’s Blend to honor Manny Gomes’ “zin-pet” blend, first sampled by the owners of Jessup Cellars at a BBQ. The owners loved the wine so much that they began to produce it the following year.

The wine was so popular in the first year that it became the first Jessup Cellars members-only wine.

The 2019 Manny’s Blend has an aroma of black plum, fig, baked black cherry, fresh blueberry, and baking spice. The palate leaves notes of dates, chocolate-covered blackberry, fig jam, and plum.  It is fantastic with juicy roasted chicken, honey garlic butter pork chop, or a lamb stew. Drink now or cellar for 3-5 years.

Technical Notes for “Manny’s Blend”:

  • Composition: 47.9% Zinfandel, 42.9% Petite Sirah, 9.2% Carignane
  • Appellation: 95% Sonoma, 5% Napa
  • Aging: 15 months using Chardonnay barrels
  • Alcohol: 16.1%


This name was inspired by Winemaker Rob Lloyd’s decision to blend Jessupm Cellar’s Grenache with the pressed-off skins of another dark varietal to give the wine deeper color and complexity. The challenge is that the winemakers never know which wineskins may be in the winery when the Grenache varietal arrives, so there could be uncertainty. Hence the name, which is “roulette” in English.

But this is always a winner!

The 2019 vintage is a co-fermentation of Grenache and Carignan varieties with a fragrance of sweet strawberry, ripe cranberry jam, red plum, cassis, and nutmeg. The palate of this best red blend wine is wonderfully dry with fresh acidity and silky, rich tannins. The wine is exceptionally food-friendly. Enjoy it with duck confit, mushroom risotto, or softer cheeses. Drink now or cellar for 2-3 years.

Technical Notes for “Rougette”

  • Composition: 87% Grenache, 13% Carignane
  • Appellation: 100% Mendocino,
  • Aging: 15 Months in used Chardonnay barrels
  • Alcohol: 14.9%


Translating to “Grace” in Italian, this wine shares its name with one of our owners’ grandmother and granddaughter, as well as our winemaker’s daughter.

The 2019 version of this harmonious Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon blend is perfectly balanced on the nose and palate with aromas and flavors of strawberry, red plum, vanilla, and rose petal.

The mouthfeel is bright, and the right amount of acidity makes it suitable for pairing with various dishes. This best red blend wine goes well with lasagna or spiced meat dishes. You can hold this for 5-8 years to see how it develops.

Tasting Notes for “Graziella”

  • Composition: 75% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Appellation: Napa Valley
  • Aging: 15 months in French oak
  • Alcohol: 14.9%

Visit Jessup Cellars

To taste the finest varietals and best red blend wines, visit the Tasting Room at Jessup Cellars in Yountville. For reservations, visit the Jessup Cellars’ website or call 707-944-5620.