Less is traditionally more when it comes to blending a California wine. The focus in the Golden State has been on individual varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, and the goal has been to use as much of that grape type as possible in the finished bottling. But now, that is beginning to change, and nowhere is the shift more apparent than with Rhône-style reds. Creative blends from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignane account for some of this year's most intriguing wines from regions throughout California. Rhône-style whites are also on the rise, with Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul Blanc, along with blends based on these grapes, exciting winemakers and consumers alike. Our upcoming March 31 issue
features tasting reports from Tim Fish on Rhône-style reds and MaryAnn Worobiec on Rhône-style whites.