Monday, January 13, 2020

Buyer Beware

Are you passionate about wine?  Do you have a "latest" favorite varietal that gets you excited when you discover that the new winery your visiting has it on their tasting list?

Several of the Rhône Valley grapes bring me shivers of anticipation when I find them in my glass, among which is the Syrah grape.

I found this wine online and it peaked my interest because of the "blend" that was used.
Do you catch the "error" in this description?

La Sirena “Le Barrettage” Calistoga 2013 ($97). Barrettage is a take off on the Northern Rhone appellation of Hermitage with this red wine crafted from predominantly syrah with a dash of grenache and petite sirah. Made in a distinctive Rhone style with ripe plums, pepper and mocha notes and a hint of minerals.

Time's up. An authentic Hermitage is made from Syrah alone without any other red grapes blended in.  Yes, it's a bit persnickety but I am passionate about my French wine.

Here in the USA, anything goes!  Blend whatever suits your fancy if it tastes good to the winemaker.  In France, there is no such luxury, wine is strictly regulated and the varietals allowed in regional wines, such as Hermitage (Northern Rhône Valley) is sacred.  

Point is, if you want to experience the Real McCoy of Syrah, then head to the town of Tain-l'Hermitage!  I'll be glad to take you there on my next visit!

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