Katy Rutland
March 26, 2014 | Wine Lingo | Katy Rutland

Wine Lingo: What's Up Lot?

“So, what’s the year on this Triple Threat?”


This is a common question received by our Wine Educators, so Terra Blanca By the Glass investigates the mysteries surrounding the Arch Terrace Triple Threat. You may remember in our first Wine Lingo segment, “The 3 Vs of Wine,” one of those Vs was vintage and that vintage is what year in which the grapes were grown and harvested. This plays a huge role in the flavor profiles found in wines thanks to that year’s climate. Today, we’re throwing a kink into the whole vintage idea.


Welcome to the mysterious world of the “lot.”


Imagine a car. The first thing most people use as a descriptor is that it’s a “2003 something or other.” This is especially true with classic cars. Wine is similar.


A wine can be labeled several ways when it comes to vintage and non-vintage. Some bottles will always have the year. Not only will this differentiate it from previous vintages of the same wine but it will also give a clue to the educated wine drinker about what to expect. Other bottles might not have anything other than “White Wine.” These are typically blends, often non-vintaged, but without labeling, they are a complete mystery on a grocery store shelf.


Then there are the lots. These are labeled normally labeled “Lot #” or in a similar fashion. Also a designation to separate them from previous wines, Lot # wines are non-vintaged.


So what does non-vintage mean?


Imagine another car, except this one is a pet project, a custom vehicle using parts from several cars, classic and contemporary, to get just the right look and ride. 


That’s a non-vintaged wine for you: a wine made from a couple different vintages to get just the right blend, palate, and profile.


Take our Arch Terrace Triple Threat, Lot 2. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot from different vintages. It is a different wine than its predecessor, the Arch Terrace Red Blend, Lot 1. The blend is different, the vintages used are different, even the name was changed for Lot 2.


So let’s clear up a common misconception. Lot # wines are not always designed to be the same lot after lot. This is especially true of the Triple Threat (and all Terra Blanca wines, vintaged or not) since our Winemaker Keith Pilgrim aims to design the best wines, period, not keep the same profiles year after year.


That would get very boring very quickly.


Which brings me to the fun thing about Lot wines: you never quite know what’s in the bottle until you try it.


Have a bottle of the Arch Terrace Triple Threat, Lot 2? Give it a try and see what the fun’s all about. It won’t be on the tasting bar for much longer. Join us in the Tasting Room soon to try out the 2009. It might not be the total mystery of the Lot 2, but with a name like Triple Threat, it’s bound to be a wild ride.


Veni, Vidi, Vinum!

Terra Blanca


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