Do You Know Negrette?


During one of our trips to Paso Robles a few years ago, we visited the Kenneth Volk tasting room and really enjoyed their wines.  The Paso Robles tasting room is no longer open, but on a subsequent trip to Paso, we stopped in at the Albertsons market (on Niblick Road just off Highway 101) to shop for local wines and found a Kenneth Volk Negrette (Ne-GRET). We were not familiar with that varietal, but knew that Kenneth Volk produced nice wines, so we bought it (along with a bunch of other local wines! - Albertsons is a great place to shop for local wines in Paso, after you've visited the wineries!).

Negrette is mostly found in southwestern France. Outside of France, Negrette is almost nowhere to be found. Except for a small amount of it in San Benito, California, where the Kenneth Volk was from.

The Negrette grape (formally known as Pinot Saint-Georges) is very dark and pigmented and, as a varietal, produces fruity and floral wines with a bit of spicy flavors. The wines are low in tannin and acidity. Because of this, winemakers often will blend it with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot Noir for additional body and age-ability.  But, on its own, it makes for a very nice, smooth wine.

So, if you are not familiar with Negrette, keep your eyes open for the seemingly rare bottles of it outside of France. And, if you find one, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Cheers!