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Ken Volk's 2005 Negrette and Open That Bottle Night

We’ve always loved Open That Bottle Night (which happens the last Saturday of February). And we’ve always loved Kenneth Volk’s wine – in fact, he was one of the first wineries we featured. So it seemed only natural this past Saturday to pick one of Volk’s that we have been sitting on for a while – his 2005 Negrette.

Never heard of negrette? According to Jancis Robinson’s site (scroll down), negrette is a “speciality of Fronton near Toulouse producing supple, perfumed, wine for early to medium-term drinking.“

So what did we prepare on this special occasion? A Coq au

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Kenneth Volk Negrette – Tasty and Odd

Courtesy of Kenneth Volk Vineyards

Negrette is a true Oddball Grape if ever there was one. It’s not seen that much outside of France – or even within France.  It is a French grape, but if you’re going to find it, it will be in the southwest of France, in the Toulouse region.

Kenneth Volk’s negrette has the deep red, almost black, color of a syrah. The nose has cedar, earth and dark fruits similar to blackberries. This is a textbook example of that perfect balance of acids, tannins and alcohol that create a whole that is better

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From Whence Comes the OddBallGrape

Ken Volk doesn’t know this yet, but in a way, he is a major inspiration for this site.  The president and director of winemaking for Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Volk has a long history of experimenting with grape varieties that no one else has even heard of, let alone tasted.

Ken Volk with his negrette (Photo courtesy of Kenneth Volk Vineyards)

Some years back, when Volk was still at Wild Horse, the Paso Robles winery where he made a name for himself, there was this little red called blaufrankisch.  Most folks were a little wary of it.  We dove

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