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Dear Dr. Vinny,
We often hear that red Châteauneuf-du-Pape may contain any of 13 allowable varietals. Are there more specific regulations regarding varietal percentage--i.e., is there a minimum percentage of Grenache or Syrah required? Could a red CdP be 100 percent Grenache or 100 percent Syrah?
—Virginia Cole, Cambria, Calif.
According to France's appellation laws for Châteauneuf-du-Pape, there are no minimum or maximum percentages for the varietals in the blend. Typically, Grenache is the lead variety for reds (followed by Syrah and Mourvèdre), and it's not unusual to find some 100 percent Grenache CdP bottlings out there. I haven't heard of any 100 percent Syrah bottlings, but there could indeed be such a thing.
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