OK folks, here’s the first really exciting style juncture, a point where we need voluble support from you to ensure we go down the right track. It is time to choose our blend!
Last year, in Rioja, we had only two parts to play with. This year, being the Rhône, we have four. Now this is obviously more challenging, but fortunately the Perrin family have a great deal of experience in this area (they routinely blend the 13 possible grapes allowed for their hallowed Châteauneuf-du-Pape). With their help we have considered all of the lovely base wines that will be available to us, consisting vessels of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault, and we’ve hammered that out to just two combinations, each with a quite different stylistic cant.
Before we present the choices, it would be good to summarise the excellent ingredients, all organic and hand-reared of course:
A delightfully sweet and charming grape that delivers soft, raspberry-scented loveliness to the blend.
Slightly more serious, showing more density than Grenache, more structure and dark fruitiness with a dash of cracked pepper.
A weight and feral aromas to any blend and is wonderful when it is from old vine stock (like here).
A stunning grape that adds juice and brings together any blend with its seductive levity, has notes of strawberries and tea.
The blends that we have alighted at are as follows:
50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 15% Cinsault
This blend follows the more classical route for the area and delivers a wonderfully accessible style accentuates the aromatics of the whole package and shows great vivacity and lift. You’ll feel the freshness, without sacrificing any sweet, ripe fruit character.
30% Grenache, 50% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 15% Cinsault
More of a departure, but a perfectly valid one that underlines the character of the Syrah. It shows more density and structure, as well as a more brooding, rich character. This has less aromatic intensity, but more mouthfeel than the above blend.
They are both excellent options, it’s really up to you which avenue we should go down and in the following blog post we will be asking you to vote.
So over to you Virtual Winemakers – in you we trust!