The sought after yet hard to find Pappy Van Winkle bourbon makes its way into the wine world with Southern Belle Red from Spain; this wine is aged in Pappy barrels!
According to the winemaker:
"Southern Belle is a blend of syrah and monestrell from the DO Murcia in Southern Spain which is then aged for a period of time in Van Winkle Bourbon barrels. The length of time in Van Winkle barrels varies depending on how many uses they've had, the wine, the year, and many other variables. There is no set formula but I know the wine I'm trying to create and use the barrels as much as needed to get it. I want the wine to have bourbon influence but still maintain its integrity as a fine wine. I don't want a freaky bourbon wine. Bourbon is an element of complexity not dominant. Many people who taste the wine and don't know there is bourbon influence would not necessarily smell or taste bourbon in the wine. I like that. I've been making this wine since the 2005 vintage so I've learned a huge amount about the use of these special barrels and I think this 2014 vintage is the best one we've made. I think with the first couple of wines, we were too discreet with the use of the barrels. The 2014 is more redolent of Bourbon in the aroma yet more subtle in the mouth. My overall goal, as with all the wines we make, is to make a seamless, delicious, drinkable fine wine.
The idea to use the bourbon barrels came over dinner I shared with my buddy Julian Van Winkle at a Southern Foodways Alliance meeting at Blackberry Farm. It was literally as simple as an idea that came up in conversation. Hey, let's do something together. Hey, what about putting wine in used bourbon barrels? Okay, I'll send you some. I don't know if you've ever seen old, used bourbon barrels, but they're ugly. When the winemakers first saw the barrels, they flat out refused to put wine anywhere near them. But, eventually they did and the result is in the bottle."