A mere 62 cases of Retouche were made. Retouche pays homage to the historical practice of “Hermitaging” wines in Bordeaux during the 1800’s. Winemakers in Bordeaux added Syrah (often from the famous vineyards in Hermitage) to their wines to add warmth, roundness and comfort-characters sometimes missing from the structured, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon.
It would be incorrect to simply call Retouche a Cab/Syrah. We conducted dozens of trials with various barrel samples and different percentages of Syrah to achieve the result we were looking for. In the end we succeeded, adding only enough Syrah to our Cabernet Sauvignon that it sits invisibly behind the Cabernet filling in the gaps. After all, it wasn’t until the late 1900s that the world learned about this fraudulent practice in Bordeaux.
The complexity & balance of this wine can be complimented with the south-western French style of cooking with a hint of spicy flavours of the Pyrenees.
Braised rabbit & prune, chicken ballotine and flavours of Périgord black truffles are all lovely matches.
Mushroom & spinach quiche or stuffed peppers with mildly spiced lentils and potatoes are delicious too.
2009 Retouche Spec Sheet (PDF)
Spec sheets for other vintages
Retouche from Le Vieux Pin is arguably their best red yet. [It] redefines the style of wine that can be produced from the Okanagan: finesse.
There’s an inviting range of aromas on the nose in this cabernet syrah blend, where dark berry-cassis and uplifted herbal nuances join some black pepper and creamier, riper syrah notes. The palate is firm and quite gritty, with sandy-dusty tannins that will demand another 2-3 years minimum I’d expect before the texture softens. Tightly wound and more old world in style all around, with fine depth and length.
This is a fine example of sturdy, balanced yet restrained southern B.C. red. I like the way the Syrah fills out the middle of the Cabernet, without really altering the Cab flavour profile. It’s full bodied and fairly dense with some alcohol, but the tannins are nicely refined and customary southern Okanagan heat is dialled back. Excellent focus and length. Best 2014 to 2020.
This is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah. The name recalls an old (and no longer permitted) practice of “re-touching” Cabernet Sauvignon with Syrah. The wine is available online, with a three-bottle limit. Dark in colour, it begins with appealing aromas of cassis. On the generous palate, there are flavours of black currant, figs and plum, with a touch of pepper.
This wine […] revisits a once traditional Bordeaux practice called “hermitaging” which involved blending some Rhône reds into the Bordeaux wine. Care was taken in the blending not to submerge the Cabernet Sauvignon’s characteristics. There still is a touch of bell pepper in the aroma of spicy red berries. The texture is fleshy, with flavours of plum, fig and a hint of tobacco.