In my day job I am a consultant. I obviously have heard all of the jokes and disdain that may accompany this title, but if there is one thing that we consultants know how to do, it is to offer some advice on problems about which we probably have very little to add, experientially speaking. We can also always whip up a 'white paper' to solve a loosely defined problem, often out of thin air. So while it may be unsolicited, I have no trouble offering a solution to the conundrum currently facing California Syrah.
The region of Roussillon falls clearly within the borders of France. It is also regularly amalgamated with its neighboring region, in the denomination of Languedoc-Roussillon. However, the area really has a story that is entirely its own. The windswept, hot, dry slopes that rise out of the crystal blue Mediterranean Sea harbor a culture that has more in common with Spain's Catalonia than with the rest of France. The soils and climate are more reminiscent of Priorat, which lies just south of the Pyrenees Mountains from Roussillon, rather than the rest of the Languedoc.