I couldn't agree with you more about Dave's blending skills. I have spent a fair amount of time with Dave tasting the various components of different wines before their blended. While I can usually identify the palate impression of a barrel, I have never been able to put them together in my mind in the way that Dave does. It clearly is a special talent.
However, do you think that blending can be taken too far in the quest
to make the "perfect wine"? As I posted on the Harvest Diary, Dave
wanted to add "non-estate" components to the zin this year to fill a hole
in the palate that he perceived. I argued that the essence of his
zin would be overpowered since this is shaping up to be a lighter year
than previous vintages. Having tasted the estate zins, and recognized
them as Coffaro Zinfandel, (albeit lighter than last years), I would prefer
to enjoy an elegant version of Coffaro Zinfandel to a richer wine with
new flavors and harder tannins. I am very interested to see what
THE MASTER BLENDER can do with the broad variety of non-estate wines that
he has in the barrel this year and am glad to see him begin making the
Neighbor's Zinfandel. But not being able to assemble the wine in
my mind, I need to taste the blendedwines first before I can even imagine
what the wine will be like.