Truth be told…
I have long been a fan of wines from the Northern Rhone…Syrahs from Hermitage, Côte Rôtie and Cornas that are deeply flavored and live a long time, not to mention Viognier from Condrieu, Marsanne and Roussane from St-Joseph, but I had not embraced Rhone wines from the New World.
As the first preliminary tasting approached last year, I was less than enthusiastic about tasting the wines. I steeled myself for a long and difficult afternoon. The first flight was eight Viogniers from California, Oregon and Michigan. My palate was pretty happy. The second flight included Marsanne, Roussane, white blends, and a Rose. I was smiling. The next two flights of red blends and Syrahs had me singing happily. If this was representative of the wines, this was not going to be difficult. And so it went. We tasted wonderful, amazing wines over the three months of prelims and finals.
I, The Wine Evangelist, who converts people to wine, has been converted. I am a major fan of Rhones both Old and New World. All I can say to the wineries who submitted wines to this year’s Rhone Shootout is…KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!