30% Grenache 70% Pinot Noir – kind of a crazy blend, but you could have guessed that something about this wine isn’t right by the label…
In case you were wondering, the wine doesn’t come with its own stick-on moustache, but what a genius marketing idea! I should patent that!
The Hold Up is a new project by the self-proclaimed Rhone Gang: Louis Barroul from Chateau St. Cosme, Paul Chaudiere from Chateau Pesquie, Rodolphe de Pins from Chateau de Montfaucon and Arnaud de la Chanonie from Avitus Wine Merchants. None of them have moustaches in real-life.
This team of winemakers are usually focused on much more serious projects from their respective properties; however the Hold Up gives the guys a little more creative influence, in a country where projects such as this are generally frowned upon.
This is supposed to be a fun wine! Interesting blend with a wacky label. More power to them I say! It’s nice to see a different angle-of-attack by the French on the wine drinking public. It’s also good to see a very well-designed and user-friendly website. They’re obviously going for the cool-factor, something which isn’t always that easy to achieve with French wines; but I think they’ve achieved it here (in its own little way).
Just so you’re aware, this kind of blend isn’t the norm in France. Producers usually want to keep their heads-down, and stick to the fairly stringent rules set by the French government. This is also the first time that I’ve ever seen Grenache and Pinot Noir blended together, from any country. There’s been quite a few changes to French winemaking law (probably in response to a bad economy), which now makes this type of blend possible.
Grenache is a key component to the reds from the Cotes du Rhone region of France, usually blended with Syrah for wines such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cotes du Ventoux, Cotes du Rhone Villages and Gigondas. Side-note: my first bottle of Gigondas was my “Eureka-moment” wine.
Since the grapes come from all over the map, it doesn’t, or more accurately isn’t allowed to, bear any specific appellation. The wine is simply labeled as a Product of France.
The name Hold – Up comes from the idea that the grapes have been “robbed” from their respective regions of origin.
Abundant red fruit on the nose, with raspberry and strawberry literally jumping out of the glass at you. The palate maintains the ripe and fresh red fruit, but isn’t overly-done. The structure is still there, even though the acidity aren’t as high as something you would find from Burgundy, and the tannins aren’t as aggressive as something from the Rhone. The strawberry notes probably come from the Pinot, with the sour cherry coming from the Grenache, a combination that seems to work well for this wine. There’s a little earth and spice there, but not much. The finish isn’t extensive, but the wine achieves what it set out to. Fun and gluggable, I thoroughly recommend it!
Keep it fun. Hamburgers, hotdogs or pulled pork sandwiches, I say!
$9.99, but I have seen it available online for varying prices. Don’t pay over $15.
The wine is imported into the U.S. by Stacole Fine Wines. If you can’t find it, just tell any decent wine shop that Stacole is the importer, and they’ll be able to order it for you.
Word of advice though: never ask a wine shop to special order you a wine, and then when they ask you how many you would like, you exclaim “one bottle”.
Maybe I’m biased, but I consider it the biggest wine shop faux pas you could commit; at least go for a minimum of six bottles when dealing with a $9.99 retail wine.