The 2006 vintage started out slowly, with cool temperatures from March through June, pointing to a later than normal harvest. A ten-day heat wave in July pushed the season along, though, and these vineyards were harvested fully mature during the second half of October. (You may know that before France started their AOC (appellation) system in the 1930’s it was common, during the 1800’s, to import Syrah from Hermitage to blend with the wines of Bordeaux. These hermitagé wines often fetched higher prices in the English market than those which had not been “improved.”). This soft, easy-drinking wine is a good introduction to the vintage, and while it will improve over the course of five to ten years, it is not a wine intended for long-term aging.