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Burgundy vs. New World Pinot Noir

Frodnesor Sep 27, 2007 09:04 AM

Rather than hijack an existing thread I thought I'd use the following comment from zin1953 as a platform for discussion:

*There are any number of California Pinots that are made in the "big, full-bodied, 'in-your-face' style." I typically call this "Pinot-as-Syrah," but I have been repeatedly taken to task for that description by the winemakers who make their Pinots in this style, by the consumers who like this style, and by certain wine critics with reputations pinned to a 100-point scale.

It clearly is a style which I do not personally enjoy, but many people seem to like it, so . . . .

In the case of Sineann, Peter follows a model for his Oregon Pinot Noir that is more typically followed by California wineries like Loring, Eno, Siduri and others, rather than more "traditional" styles of Arcadian or Navarro in California, or most other Oregon producers . . . let alone Burgundy.*

I hear much about traditional Burgundy vs. New World (in particular, California and to a lesser degree Oregon) Pinot Noir. The discussion primarily focuses on New World PN being, as zin puts it, "Pinot-as-Syrah" or, "big, full-bodied, in-your-face style" - in implicit or explicit contrast to Burgundian Pinot being more restrained, elegant, subtle, etc.

What I find puzzling is that in reading reviews of some of the most highly regarded Burgundies (and I should note that my knowledge of great Burgundies is mostly vicarious, while I've drunk a good bit of California and Oregon Pinot Noir), the descriptions would seem to suggest that the Burgundies are often equally full-bodied, etc. as the New World wines.

Here's a test. I'm going to post excerpts from reviews of top Burgundies (mostly grand crus) along with several New World Pinots. Say what you will about point ratings, but let's assume that a professional wine reviewer gives a reasonably on-point description of the wine (yes, I know this assumption may be criticized). Without cheating, who can guess which are the new world wines and which are Burgundy?

#1 - "Very deep color. Huge aromas of jammy, candied black cherry, blackberry, boysenberry and spice, extremely charming. An opulent, full-bodied, full-throttle [wine], concentrated and packed with ripe tannins and bright acidity, with a long, lingering finish."

#2 - "An amazing wine, rich, opulent, riveting style, with layers of black cherry, blackberry, cola, sassafras and hints of mineral, pebble and sage. Deeply concentrated, long, rich and persistent, with flavors that coat the palate. Firmly tannic, too, giving it great structure."

#3 - "A fruit bomb, this is packed with cassis, plum, violet and mineral notes with freshness and extremely fine tannins. It builds and builds on the palate with intensity and vibrance."

#4 - "Amazing depth, richness and purity of fruit, this is dense and muscular yet deftly balanced, with tiers of plum, black cherry, blueberry and pretty hints of framboise, chocolate and rye. Both creamy and thick, it's mouthcoating and long, rich and persistent on the finish."

#5 - "Inky purple, fresh and compelling, with blackberry and violet aromas and flavors. If you close your eyes, Syrah comes to mind for a moment, but the tannin structure is different. Supple and silky before the fine tannins take over, this will require patience to reap the full rewards."

#6 - "Simply delicious, with wonderful aromas of sandalwood, exotic spices and a rich, vibrant core of juicy black cherry, blackberry, wild berry and boysenberry fruit that's enlivened by vivid acidity yet displays a wonderful density that gives it a long, intricate aftertaste."

#7 - "Blockbuster Pinot that remains elegant. Thick in texture, black in color, it delivers much character--earth, red berry and ripe-tasting blackberry, spices--in a blend both modern and traditional. So clean, so pure, so attractive."

#8 - "Subtle and graceful. Remarkably generous with its many layers of flavor, offering currant, raspberry, cherry, violet and mineral notes that keep echoing as the finish sails on and on. Tannins are present but should polish up with time in the cellar. "

#9 - "Big-structured, muscular, with good amount of fruit, there is also plenty of wood tannins and toasted oak here. Very dense, and with time might turn out just fine. Meanwhile, the sweet, ripe fruit wins you over."

#10 - "Lithe, supple and expressive, offering layers and layers of white pepper-accented currant and cherry, with a mineral note that adds depth and distinction. Broad and open-textured, lasting beautifully on the finish against superfine tannins."

Answers will be posted in later today.

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  1. oolah RE: Frodnesor Sep 27, 2007 09:47 AM

    Frodesnor,

    I won't venture to take your quiz (altho I'm curious to see the answers!), but the primary differences I've noticed between Cali Pinots and Burgundy are:

    1) French wines tend to have more floral notes, while cali wines tend to be more fruity.

    2) Cali pinots sometimes lean towards darker black fruits, while french ones are more likely to be red-fruited.

    3) Burgundies have higher acidity and minerality, making them more balanced in my mind. It's possible I just haven't tasted it yet, but I've yet to find a Cali pinot with the bright white mineral core that i find so appealing in burgundy.

    4) Burgundies are more likely to have barnyardy, earthy, animal, bloody or mushroomy flavors. It sounds gross, but well-placed it can add a really wonderful dimension to the wine.

    5) Cali Pinots are more likely to be over-oaked.

    There are exceptions to all these, but I think these are pretty standard generalizations. So the issue isn't full-bodiedness as much as balance and relative lightness.

    NB: I enjoy Cali Pinots from time to time, but I'm definitely biased towards burgundy.

    ETA: One more key difference: Cali Pinots are more approachable when younger and fade faster than burgundies, most likely due to the extreme fruitiness.

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: Frodnesor Sep 27, 2007 09:48 AM

      I think those quotes say more about the writers than the wines.

      Here's another review of #1 that I think leaves no doubt as to where it's from: "Dark red appearance. Pencil, leather and tree bark on the nose. Fat and flowy, but incredibly light and elegant. Wonderfully complex bouquet. Multi-dimensional in the mouth, and packed with ripe tannin. Great finesse to this wine. Very long finish. This should turn out top-notch in about 10 years."

      5 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        monkuboy RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2007 10:12 AM

        "Fat and flowy.. incredibly light?" Now if you were to describe people that way, someone would think you are nuts. How can someone be fat and light at the same time? "The man is really fat, yet he is stunningly light." Lol.. "Very dark yet light color."

        1. re: monkuboy
          Robert Lauriston RE: monkuboy Sep 27, 2007 10:26 AM

          I'm not offering that as a model of wine writing, just as tasting notes that are to me utterly unambiguous as regards whether it's Burgundy or New World.

        2. re: Robert Lauriston
          z
          zin1953 RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2007 10:25 AM

          >>> I think those quotes say more about the writers than the wines. <<<

          I agree.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            Frodnesor RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2007 11:58 AM

            FWIW, quotes come from four different reviewers.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              w
              whiner RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2007 07:55 PM

              Two more far less ambiguous notes...

              Full ruby-red. Impressively pure nose of raspberry, strawberry, minerals, oriental spices and sexy oak. Superripe, lush and highly concentrated; already very expressive in the mouth, thanks to its utterly silky texture and wonderfully fine tannins. Explosively long and youthful on the back end. Consistently pure and fine from start to finish. (ST)

              The medium to dark ruby-colored [] has sweet, tangy raspberry, black currant, candied cherry, leather, and spice aromas. This medium to full-bodied wine is harmonious, refined, and powerful. It is expansive, magnificently delineated, and feminine []. Its flavor profile is crammed with an assortment of super-ripe red and black fruit laced with vanilla beans. It has loads of sweet tannin that can be detected in its admirable finish. (PR)

            2. z
              zin1953 RE: Frodnesor Sep 27, 2007 10:45 AM

              Frodnesor,

              I'm not sure what you are trying to prove, if anything. Some California Pinot Noirs are very Burgundian in style (e.g.: Arcadian, Navarro, Mout Eden Vineyards); others are more in the "Pinot-as-Syrah" camp -- though if I had any sense, I would have written "Pinot-as-Shiraz" . . .

              Conversely, some Burgundies (Dominique Larent, for example, and to a limited extent, Perrot-Minot) may -- in their youth -- resemble more of a "in your face" CA PN than your classic (e.g.) Pommard or Gevrey-Chambertin. INdeed, I've always found Laurent's wines to be "upside-down" -- the higher up the appellations you go, the less tipicity the wines exhibit, and the more the wines exibit "Laurent." In other words, I can rarely tell his Bonnes-Mares from his Grands-Echezeaux, but telling his Gevrey-Chambertin from his Vosne-Romanee or Nuits St.-Georges is much easier as the wines are much more typical of their origin rather than typical of their maker.

              3 Replies
              1. re: zin1953
                Frodnesor RE: zin1953 Sep 27, 2007 12:10 PM

                Not trying to prove anything. I haven't drunk enough Burgundy to have my own source of information by which to compare; indeed, that's why I reach out for thoughts from others here. Rather, just trying to explore my own puzzlement as to why New World Pinot is so often criticized for being "big, full-bodied and in-your-face" when those same characteristics seem to be ascribed to some of the most highly regarded of the top grand cru Burgundies.

                Is anyone going to try? (Hint: there's no Arcadian, Navarro, Mount Eden, Dominique Laurent, or Perrot-Minot).

                1. re: Frodnesor
                  oolah RE: Frodnesor Sep 27, 2007 12:25 PM

                  Too tricky! I might be willing to take on a blind taste test, but not a blind tasting notes test :)

                  Without knowing who the writers are, it's difficult to determine how their palates would receive the different wines.

                  1. re: oolah
                    Frodnesor RE: oolah Sep 27, 2007 12:39 PM

                    Agree the only real way to do it is blind tasting - regretfully I have little opportunity to taste most of the Burgs, blind or otherwise.

              2. Frodnesor RE: Frodnesor Sep 27, 2007 04:48 PM

                OK, since nobody has the courage to try (OW = Old World, NW = New World):

                #1 - "Very deep color. Huge aromas of jammy, candied black cherry, blackberry, boysenberry and spice, extremely charming. An opulent, full-bodied, full-throttle [wine], concentrated and packed with ripe tannins and bright acidity, with a long, lingering finish."
                DOMAINE DE LA ROMANEE-CONTI LA TACHE 1999 (OW)

                #2 - "An amazing wine, rich, opulent, riveting style, with layers of black cherry, blackberry, cola, sassafras and hints of mineral, pebble and sage. Deeply concentrated, long, rich and persistent, with flavors that coat the palate. Firmly tannic, too, giving it great structure."
                KOSTA BROWNE SONOMA COAST KANZLER VINEYARD 2004 (NW)

                #3 - "A fruit bomb, this is packed with cassis, plum, violet and mineral notes with freshness and extremely fine tannins. It builds and builds on the palate with intensity and vibrance."
                MEO-CAZUMET CLOS DU VOUGEOT 2003 (OW)

                #4 - "Amazing depth, richness and purity of fruit, this is dense and muscular yet deftly balanced, with tiers of plum, black cherry, blueberry and pretty hints of framboise, chocolate and rye. Both creamy and thick, it's mouthcoating and long, rich and persistent on the finish."
                DOMAINE ALFRED EDNA VALLEY CHAMISAL VINEYARDS CALIFA 2004 (NW)

                #5 - "Inky purple, fresh and compelling, with blackberry and violet aromas and flavors. If you close your eyes, Syrah comes to mind for a moment, but the tannin structure is different. Supple and silky before the fine tannins take over, this will require patience to reap the full rewards."
                J. FAIVELY CORTON CLOS DES CORTONS FAIVELY 2003 (OW)

                #6 - "Simply delicious, with wonderful aromas of sandalwood, exotic spices and a rich, vibrant core of juicy black cherry, blackberry, wild berry and boysenberry fruit that's enlivened by vivid acidity yet displays a wonderful density that gives it a long, intricate aftertaste."
                DUMOL SONOMA COUNTY GREEN VALLEY RYAN 2003 (NW)

                #7 - "Blockbuster Pinot that remains elegant. Thick in texture, black in color, it delivers much character--earth, red berry and ripe-tasting blackberry, spices--in a blend both modern and traditional. So clean, so pure, so attractive."
                G. ROUMIER BONNES MARES 1999 (OW)

                #8 - "Subtle and graceful. Remarkably generous with its many layers of flavor, offering currant, raspberry, cherry, violet and mineral notes that keep echoing as the finish sails on and on. Tannins are present but should polish up with time in the cellar. "
                BEAUX FRERES WILLAMETTE VALLEY BEAUX FRERES VINEYARD 2003 (NW)

                #9 - "Big-structured, muscular, with good amount of fruit, there is also plenty of wood tannins and toasted oak here. Very dense, and with time might turn out just fine. Meanwhile, the sweet, ripe fruit wins you over."
                CLAUDE DUGAT GRIOTTE-CHAMBERTIN 1999 (OW)

                #10 - "Lithe, supple and expressive, offering layers and layers of white pepper-accented currant and cherry, with a mineral note that adds depth and distinction. Broad and open-textured, lasting beautifully on the finish against superfine tannins."
                SHEA WILLAMETTE VALLEY SHEA VINEYARD ESTATE 2004 (NW)

                3 Replies
                1. re: Frodnesor
                  ibstatguy RE: Frodnesor Sep 28, 2007 07:00 AM

                  well since you posted the answers already, how about idenifying the 4 reviewers?

                  1. re: ibstatguy
                    Frodnesor RE: ibstatguy Sep 28, 2007 07:27 AM

                    All from Spectator. The more recent burgundy reviews were from Bruce Sanderson, the 99's from someone else ("PM"?). The California reviews were James Laube, the Oregon Harvey Steinman.

                  2. re: Frodnesor
                    b
                    bogie RE: Frodnesor Sep 28, 2007 01:08 PM

                    Re #8: I don't think I've ever had a Beaux Freres PN that I would classify as "subtle"!!!

                  3. Cookiefiend RE: Frodnesor Sep 27, 2007 05:06 PM

                    Hi Frodnesor,

                    I'm totally with you on the Old World, New World distinctions. We are just taking our first steps into the world of Burgundy (thank you Zin1953!) and I find it extremely confusing.

                    My solution is to drink more!

                    1. w
                      whiner RE: Frodnesor Sep 27, 2007 07:33 PM

                      I agree with others who say that those reviews tell more about the reviewers than the wines.

                      Great Burgundy has a mineral and spice component that no other Pinot Noir has. This is even more true when discussing the nose. It is also much higher in acid than the full-throttle CA and OR examples and much longer lived.

                      Some great producers in Burgundy (eg. Groffier) have developed a style that does find its way closer to New World Pinot than other producers. But I am still pretty confident in my ability to pick them out as Burgundy. In the less expensive field, Tollot-Beau's wines from the Cote de Beaune can sometimes be mistaken for an old-world styled New World wine.

                      But that said, no one has ever smelled a good DRC, or Dujac, or Leroy and not been 100% convinced that it was Burgundy. It doesn't even matter if you have had Burgundy before. At its best, Burgundy is haunting in a way that no Pinot from anywhere else in the world can be. It really is a different animal. And, to whatever extent the review of a 1999 La Tache sounds similar to the review of a Kosta Browne Kanzler, it is only because the reviewer is speaking in terms relative to appropraite expectations for the wine. It is not because the wines actually taste similar.

                      1. p
                        pinotho RE: Frodnesor Sep 28, 2007 03:10 PM

                        me thinks you guys need to do some blind tastings.....thanks for reminding me why I stopped reading the WS .

                        1. Bill Hunt RE: Frodnesor Sep 29, 2007 05:49 PM

                          I have not read down the thread, as I do not wish to spoil it for myself, since I plan on "taking the test."

                          First, what an interesting thread! Great fun and I'll join in, albeit late. I promise to not cheat.

                          One comment: when gathering the reviews, I hope that you were open-minded and did not "stack the deck," with reviews that would obfuscate the origin of the Pns.

                          I’ve done tastings, where the wines were chosen particularly to throw off the participants, i.e. Chards that thought they were SB’s, Cabs that were more like Syrahs, Merlots that mimicked Zinfandels, etc. Not much fun, when you only get only two, out of twelve, correct.

                          I’ll play the game, and see how I do, as the answers are probably down below. I’ll post my “score,” and take any consequences.

                          Hunt

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                            Bill Hunt RE: Bill Hunt Sep 29, 2007 05:56 PM

                            Here's my test. I'll see how I did.

                            #1 = New World
                            #2 = Old World
                            #3 = Old World
                            #4 = Old World
                            #5 = New World
                            #6 = Old World
                            #7 = Old World
                            #8 = Old World
                            #9 = Old World
                            #10 = New World

                            Hunt

                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                              Bill Hunt RE: Bill Hunt Sep 29, 2007 06:05 PM

                              Hey, 4/10 isn't all that bad, especially as we did not get to actually taste the wines, only read what someone wrote about them. My suggestion is that we gather these up and all gather for a tasting, to see if we do better. If nothing else, it'd be great fun.

                              I did an Old World vs New World (basically Cab & Bdx. blends), and stumped 98% of my wine group. With one exception (a Pomerol tie, but New World wine), there were no tricks in the bag. Great fun, and enlightening to most. Unfortunately, I had chosen the wines, so I'll never really know how I'd do on this one.

                              Thanks for the fun. Sorry, gotta' go, as I've just emptied my glass and need to go up and refill it.

                              Hunt

                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                Frodnesor RE: Bill Hunt Sep 30, 2007 02:52 PM

                                Bill -

                                First, I'm glad to see someone had the cojones to try! As far as stacking the deck, I certainly for the first 2 tried to find reviews that read similarly (the DRC and the Kosta Browne). Other than that, I did tend to avoid reviews that used the word "terroir" as being a dead giveaway (and also, I should note, a complete cop-out IMO as far as actually describing a wine), and will confess to making some effort to find Burgundy reviews that described more full-bodied wines.

                                However, what I did see is that particularly when focusing on Grand Cru Burgundies, it was not so hard to find. The descriptors often did tend to match what are commonly described as the excesses of some CA style - "full-bodied", "full-throttle", "fuit bomb", "Syrah comes to mind", "thick in texture", "big-structured, muscular"...

                                Obviously many folks attribute this to the reviewer(s), not the wines themselves. I'd like to hear a little more about what this means - it's one thing to say that you don't like the style of wine a particular reviewer favors; it's another to say you think their point ratings are pointless or wrong; it's still another to say they don't accurately describe a wine. And while I regularly see significant variations between different professional reviewers as to particular components of a wine (specific aromas or flavors), it is less common that I see huge variations with regard to the overall style or structure of a wine.

                                I ultimately agree there's no way to really do this (and in particular, to educate myself) other than through blind tasting. I'm part of a wine group that meets monthly and I'm going to try to do this for one of our tasting nights.

                                Bill, I like your suggestion of gathering these up for a tasting - not sure it's in my budget though!

                                1. re: Frodnesor
                                  Bill Hunt RE: Frodnesor Sep 30, 2007 02:59 PM

                                  I did not really believe that you had filled the quiz with ringers, and understand what you mean, as far as major descriptive terms go. "Stewed blackberries," vs. "poached blackberries," but we are talking rather specific terms and they do seem to make your point.

                                  When it comes to reviews, I normally gravitate to this type, rather than numerical ratings.

                                  If we can ever pull off a blind tasting, it should be great. Maybe I can get better than 4/10! If not, I still win, eh?

                                  Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I had fun with it.

                                  Hunt

                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                    j
                                    jonapurcell RE: Bill Hunt Mar 3, 2010 10:08 AM

                                    The key difference I believe between REAL red Burgundy and all fakers is that the new world wanna bes are mostly Hawaiian Punch ...Even more importantly is the immutable fact that most burgundy lovers don’t get ...is that not only great but even just good red burgundy ages far longer than 98% of the people that drink it can possibly imagine. Sanderson gets an A+ in his latest column March 2010 in which he finally has the epiphany that even red burgundy from the 1960's in NOT YET "MATURE"! WHAT?? After you stop laughing...realize that this is indeed true for the most part. The ephemeral sweetness and dancing flavors that soar from even well made village level wines from great vintages like 1959, 1952, 1949, 1947, 1945 and 1937 can be intoxicating and typically is....although very fleeting. Think these wines are unobtainable...you’d be wrong. They’re out there ...although buying them is the USA is for the most part an unaffordable exercise.

                                    1. re: jonapurcell
                                      z
                                      zin1953 RE: jonapurcell Mar 3, 2010 08:54 PM

                                      Having had more than my fair share of Burgundies from 1959, 1952, 1949, 1947, 1945, and even 1937 (let alone 1961, 1964, and 19690, my comment is that there aren't many Burgundies that are produced today in the same style as they were then.

                                      Sure, some wines will age magnificently. OTOH, some straight villages-level wines from the 1990s, and even the 2000s, are over-the-hill . . .

                                      1. re: zin1953
                                        c
                                        craig_g RE: zin1953 Jul 13, 2010 11:43 AM

                                        Well, speaking of pinot-as-syrah and vice versa...:)

                                      2. re: jonapurcell
                                        Bill Hunt RE: jonapurcell Jul 30, 2010 09:45 PM

                                        While not an expert, I have had my fair share of DRC's, so I'd say that I rather know my Burgs, and appreciate many greatly.

                                        Not exactly sure where you are coming from here. Are you saying that one cannot rate a PN, unless it has 20 - 40 years of age on it?

                                        To me, a wine can be an excellent choice, regardless of whether it can age for half a century. It should be about the joy that it brings.

                                        I hope that I am just missing something obvious.

                                        Hunt

                            2. b
                              bricap RE: Frodnesor Mar 3, 2010 09:36 PM

                              If I want my PN to taste like syrah, I like the Penner Ash Rubeo, which has about 25% syrah. I have tried very little from Burgundy, certainly not enough to have an opinion. I prefer Oregon and New Zealand over California when it comes to the New World. I'm not sure if my problem with California PN is a matter of climate and terroir or the insistence on picking the grapes later than normal. I had a higher end California PN not too long ago and it seemed so overdone. The Rubeo has a high enough ABV, but this one was 14.5%-15%. What is up with high ABV in PNs? Isn't PN a bit delicate for these high percentages?

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: bricap
                                njfoodies RE: bricap Mar 4, 2010 12:16 PM

                                That is interesting to me bricap. I have yet to find a New Zealand pinot noir that I have been overly crazy about. To me, they always seem to be lacking fruit, and many of them have tasted burnt to me. Call me crazy, but yes, I said burnt! Very odd in my opinion!

                                On the other hand, I cannot get enough Cali pinot, whether it be a classic pinot, or a an in your face sweet cola filled fruit bomb. Same goes for oregon and Burgundy as well. -mJ

                                1. re: njfoodies
                                  Bill Hunt RE: njfoodies Jul 30, 2010 09:50 PM

                                  I have had very similar experiences. I keep feeling that NZ PN will be "there" soon, but have yet to experience one that screams, " I am HERE now!"

                                  The areas are great, and many wine makers are working hard, but I have yet to be wowed. Maybe it is just the wines, that are imported to the US?

                                  I am not saying that there are not producers, who have some great PN's, or that there are not others "knocking on the door," but only that I have yet to encounter the right ones.

                                  While I find vast differences between a Benovia, or Brewer-Clifton and a La Tache, I can greatly appreciate any of those, plus many in the "in between."

                                  Hunt

                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                    Bill Hunt RE: Bill Hunt Nov 28, 2010 05:17 PM

                                    I'd have to check my notes, as this was during a meal, but we did have a NZ PN in Hawai`i last week, and it was quite good - best for me so far, and maybe was the announcement - "I'm here now." It would have fallen way down my "great PN list," but was very good, and by far the best PN from NZ, that has touched my lips. Gotta' try more, and more often.

                                    Heading to Sydney, and hope that there are some NZ PN's there, that we cannot get in AZ, USA, just to try. I've also been seeing some OZ PN's on lists, but have not tried any yet. Maybe next week?

                                    Hunt

                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                      j
                                      jock RE: Bill Hunt Nov 29, 2010 12:18 PM

                                      while you are there see if you can find a 5 - 10 yr old yarra yerring pinot from victoria. i know it isn't NZ but they can be superb.

                                2. re: bricap
                                  z
                                  zin1953 RE: bricap Mar 4, 2010 01:28 PM

                                  >>> What is up with high ABV in PNs? Isn't PN a bit delicate for these high percentages? <<<
                                  Things move as a pendulum. Right now, and for the past several years, "physiological maturity" has been the buzzword, and PN -- like everything else -- is getting picked at riper and riper levels of potential alcohol/degrees Brix/sugar levels (take your pick). Now if you ask me, I would say YES, Pinot Noir is "a bit delicate for this high(er alcohol) percentages." Then again, there are no blanket, one-size-fits-all generalizations and I have had several PNs in this range that I thought were excellent.

                                  Most, however, fit the model of what I call "Pinot-as-Syrah." Just to be clear, a "Pinot-as-Syrah" need not actually contain any Syrah, but rather just have the weight and body and degree of (over-)ripeness commonly associated with those California Syrahs made in the style of an Australian Shiraz. (Perhaps I should change my expression to "Pinot-as-Shiraz"?) I find the density, the fullness, the degree of ripeness to be very UN-Pinot Noir like.

                                  But that's me; YMMV.

                                  >>> I prefer Oregon and New Zealand over California when it comes to the New World. <<<
                                  Obviously -- well, obvious to ME anyway -- this depends upon the specific producer. (There are some producers in each of these three locations that I cannot stand.) But, generally, I prefer New Zealand over Oregon, though in all fairness there are probably an equal number of Oregon and California PNs that I like. But Burgundy has always been my #1 . . .

                                  Cheers,
                                  Jason

                                  1. re: bricap
                                    b
                                    bricap RE: bricap Mar 4, 2010 09:41 PM

                                    Thanks for the replies, both of you.

                                    NJF, I'm guessing we are into different styles. It happens. I know that there are plenty of people who like a PN from California that has 14.5% ABV and is a sweet cola fruit bomb. I'll never understand that style. I like to see some fruit, mind you, but I don't need for it to take over the wine, and I don't need for it to become syrupy, either. I don't mind that there are a lot of people who like this kind of PN. I just don't like that this kind of PN seems to be crowding out the other styles (in the New World market, anyway), but then that's probably just an extension of the whole high ABV debate.

                                    I've only had a handful of NZ PNs. I generally liked them. I didn't take any notes on them, and they weren't too pricy, but I found them to be quite drinkable. I don't remember burnt being a descriptor that came to mind, though. They just tasted like decent PNs to me.

                                    Jason, that was a thoughtful reply. Yes, I can still like a 14% ABV PN, as I mentioned with the Rubeo. It does happen from time to time. The syrah added a nice kick, I remember, which is why I said if I really wanted PN to taste like syrah, that's the way to go for me. I don't have enough experience with PNs to be talking about all the producers. Regardless of the producer, they still have much of the same climate and terroir to work with in a given region before deciding which style to employ. I haven't had tons of PNs, but it would seem that a few from each region helps to give me some idea in a given price range. Someday I'll try some Burgundies, and even some PNs from other locations, like Germany or Switzerland. I have a lot of different wines I want to try, though. I'm one of those people who has to try as many different grapes (and then in as many regions) as possible before I die, mind you.

                                    1. re: bricap
                                      njfoodies RE: bricap Mar 5, 2010 04:18 AM

                                      Bricap: I crave different pinot at different times. There are certainly times that we are in the mood for a big fruit bomb. When that is the case, we reach for something like a Kosta Browne. Definitely love these wines when we're in the mood for them.

                                      Then there are other times that we're craving Burgundy, so we'll reach into the cellar and grab some Burgundy. And of course there are times we're craving something from Oregon, and we'll do that as well.

                                      If we're really not in the mood for anything in particular on the pinot front, than you just never know. Could be anything from the Central Coast, to the Santa Rita Hills, to Sonoma to Russian River. You just never know.

                                      What I do know, is that we absolutely love pinot, hence the reason our cellar is currently almost 37%/255 bottles of pinot noir. Though I have been trying to even this out with more big cabs from '07. Cellar diversity is a good thing, and I don't have it currently.

                                      But as far as the NZ pinot go, still haven't found one. Also haven't found any from South America that I have been crazy about. Guess I need to start drinking more and buying from other regions. We'll see! -mJ

                                      1. re: bricap
                                        Bill Hunt RE: bricap Jul 30, 2010 09:58 PM

                                        You know, I drink a lot of PN's, as most are great food-friendly wines, and I seldom bother with the ABV ratings, unless I detect something out of balance.

                                        Now, I will pair with a region, or producer, but do admit that there are many profiles. Paired with food, each has a place, at least in my book.

                                        Hunt

                                    2. jcoz23 RE: Frodnesor Mar 13, 2010 12:04 PM

                                      Very interesting thread! I would surely fail the quiz so I didn't even try! I love Pinot Noir, but though I drink an awful lot of it, I am not very good at analyzing the exact characteristics of why I like one vs. another. I do know of the New World Pinots, in general I far prefer New Zealand to California, and Oregon is somewhere in between. I love Burgundies as well. I just like those in a different way. I agree with one of the previous posters about Burgundies seeming more floral and earthy.

                                      1. o
                                        orlwine RE: Frodnesor Jul 18, 2010 08:45 PM

                                        One thing not noted here is that when Wine Spectator conducts it's blind tastings, they are not double-blind at all. For example, each initialed taster (JL, HS, BS, etc) covers specific regions or types, and their wines are tasted blind, but within a certain context. When Laube sits down to taste current release Napa Cabernets & Blends, he knows it. Same with Harvey and Washington reds. So the scores and tasting notes are really only relevant to the category in which the wines are.

                                        My friend who worked in the NY office for Wine Spectator said everyone knew which flights of wine were about to be tasted, and some were very well attended. Who wouldn't want to be there for the tasting that most likely included the La-La's from Guigal?

                                        In summary, tasting notes from four different tasters only indicates that each has their palate calibrated to different reference points. A fruit bomb from Volnay would not compare to a fruit bomb PN from Sonoma.

                                        1. h
                                          Henry James RE: Frodnesor Nov 21, 2010 02:06 PM

                                          Thanks, Frod, for constructing this interesting "quiz."

                                          A couple of comments:
                                          1. It seems to me that those who say "we have to know the reviewers" are copping out. The survey shows that even *relatively* sophisticated reviewers will not give us info to differentiate between old and new world. Perhaps our own palate will, but most of us are quite imperfect in describing the reactions of our own palates.
                                          2. Kudos to Hunt for jumping in to try, and being humble/self-reflective about his answers.
                                          3. Kudos to Frod for gracious replies.

                                          As a moderately experienced drinker, I markedly prefer Burgundies to the New Worlders, BUT,
                                          1. the burgundies cost $10-20 more for comparable qualitiy
                                          2. i greatly appreciate the "charm" of many New World Pinots. To my palate, as is a cliche, the Oregonians are lighter and the Californians more "jammy," though I like them both, depending on my mood.
                                          3. Less experience with the NZers, but a couple have been pleasant and even interesting, and if I remember correctly more acidic and less fruity than the Californians, and heavier than the Oregonians.

                                          24 Replies
                                          1. re: Henry James
                                            Bill Hunt RE: Henry James Nov 28, 2010 05:10 PM

                                            I am as you are, and enjoy many different styles of PN. I can appreciate a light OR PN, to a full-blown Central Coast (CA, USA) "I say PN, but I think I am a Syrah" wine. It all depends on the food, or the mood.

                                            As a side note, my first male Bulldog was named Gevrey Chambertin du Beauregard, but his friends knew him as Beaux (reflection on our New Orleans heritage).

                                            Of all reds, I think that we probably do PN about 2:1 for Cab/Cab-blends, and all other varietals are down that list. Mainly, this is due to the food-friendliness of that grape, when well-produced.

                                            I might take slight exception to #1, as I would bump that difference up a bit, but that is just my experience.

                                            Hunt

                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                              j
                                              jock RE: Bill Hunt Nov 29, 2010 12:21 PM

                                              bill

                                              my first berner was named la tache - always wanted a dog named spot!

                                              my second was chambertin and the one you know from backstreet is corton-charlemagne - charlie for short.

                                              1. re: jock
                                                Bill Hunt RE: jock Nov 29, 2010 05:09 PM

                                                Amazing how we apply names to our pups. Now, I have Beaux's sister, Billy's Sweet Magnolia Lane (entry to Augusta National), and Billy's Sweet Camellia (for #10 at Augusta National). Guess that I need a new "wine dog." Though it seems that you might have already taken some of the better names.

                                                Hunt

                                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                  JAB RE: Bill Hunt Nov 30, 2010 05:13 AM

                                                  We named our chocolate brown miniature Poodle "Le Grande Dame Chocolate Divaliscious" or, "Diva" for short.

                                                  1. re: JAB
                                                    Bill Hunt RE: JAB Dec 2, 2010 05:00 PM

                                                    Now THAT is a very cute name! Maybe my next red-fawn Bulldog can be "Yellow Label?"

                                                    Hunt

                                            2. re: Henry James
                                              Bill Hunt RE: Henry James Nov 28, 2010 05:21 PM

                                              As to knowing the reviewers, it might well be a case of "peeking," as we might recognize a writer's prose and descriptors, and also know their region of expertise. I think that here, I'd rather not know, as it's not like compiling a shopping list, where I would definitely want to know a bit of history of the reviewer, especially if I was plunking down for a 1er Cru Burg. Here, the descriptors should carry the test - at least for me.

                                              Hunt

                                              1. re: Henry James
                                                j
                                                jock RE: Henry James Nov 29, 2010 12:34 PM

                                                imo not a cop-out to know the reviewer. just as it is important to know your wine merchant, somm or chef. when you have tasted enough wines that the reviewer has reviewed you can calibrate your palate to his/hers.

                                                new world, - old world can be tough to differentiate. i generally find new world to be "prettier" and "cleaner" and more consistent in style.

                                                that said i still prefer burgundy where i can sometimes actually tell where in that small strip of land the grapes came from. also i have yet to taste a California or Oregon that came close to the great burgundies. some i rate in the low 90s but very few. the only new world that has come close to a great burgundy is the Yarra Yerring from Victoria, Australia.

                                                of the dozen or so "epiphany" wines i have had over the last 50 years most have been burgundy or german riesling. musigny (twice), la tache (twice), chambertin, volnay, vr beaux monts and les amoureuses.

                                                1. re: jock
                                                  s
                                                  sedimental RE: jock Nov 30, 2010 10:18 AM

                                                  I agree. The reviewer is very important. IMHO the man who really understands the relationship of Burg wines to terroir is Allen Meadows. I have not looked to see what he says about this subject but would be interested to know. I have found his direction to be reliable for me over the years. Many WS reviewers, I think, are not experts about the nuances of Burgundy wine (meaning from Burgundy), or at least not to the extent that Meadows is. Meadows site is also fantastic for Burg collectors that appreciate direction, education and guidance (esp drinking windows) in aged Burgundy. I don't have much experience in new world Pinots (so I would have flunked your test), but have a large collection of "old world" nicely aged burgundy (from the 1970's through the 1990's). It has been over 10 years since I have bought any new "good" Pinot so I am feeling out of date. This thread has me wanting to try some new things! Thanks for that, and the quiz. :) It is always nice to learn new things.

                                                  1. re: sedimental
                                                    j
                                                    jock RE: sedimental Dec 3, 2010 07:09 AM

                                                    for me RMP himself has become next to worthless - if it get more than 90 points from him it is way too overblown.

                                                    however, david s, his burgundy reviewer has an excellent palate. (i have no clue how to spell his last name)

                                                    1. re: jock
                                                      s
                                                      sedimental RE: jock Dec 3, 2010 11:59 AM

                                                      Yes, I know of David, but I don't prefer him to Meadows. There was a great reviewer there -years ago -by the name of Rovanni (sp?) that I thought was almost as good as Meadows, but he is gone now. I will give David's reviews another look, thanks for the tip.
                                                      Parker is not worthless to most serious collectors that buy, sell, auction and trade wines. He is just important for the "wrong" reasons! His comments, drinking windows and score makes all the difference in the world as far as "price". If you are a serious collector (for sport/passion or investment) of aged wines, RP's written words are important to you. That said, he is sometimes just plain wrong. He has been consistently wrong on drinking windows for white Bordeaux...but just try to auction a nice bottle for a decent price or trade it with another collector for something you want (fair value). Forget it. RP's reviews run the show....even though we all know better! The only saving grace for this situation is that you might be able to pick up a wonderful bottle at auction for a steal due to a RP "flubb" on a review. It still sucks to be on the other end of it.

                                                      1. re: sedimental
                                                        j
                                                        jock RE: sedimental Dec 3, 2010 04:21 PM

                                                        i did say "for me" and i do realize that parker is tremendously powerful. i just find his palate to be veering farther and farther from mine which i believe is the point of this discussion. parker never was very good on burgundy. parker still reviews ca pinots and tends to go for the big cherry cola "fruit bombs" that do not suit my palate. frankly, i think that is why i do not care for most of them.

                                                        i do not prefer david s to meadows and by the same token i do not prefer meadows to ds. they are both very good in my opinion.

                                                        here is another very personal opinion - i found rovani to be completely worthless. please do take offense it is just one man's opinion.

                                                        ps - if you want to calibrate with my palate and i can understand if you do not, a ca pinot that producer that i really like is littorai.

                                                        1. re: jock
                                                          s
                                                          sedimental RE: jock Dec 3, 2010 06:16 PM

                                                          No offense at all. Taste is soooo personal. I just enjoy talking about it. I wonder if there is a difference in age too (in regard to taste of wine)? I seem to have similar tastes with collectors over 50.Meadows is a "friend of a friend" and is in my age range. Our mutual friend loves Echezeaux and bought some from me -and he told me he drinks with Meadows ( I believe he does, and was highly entertained at the stories). I admit I am"old school". I really want to update my cellar and I am active at looking on boards for ideas.

                                                          P.S. I wrote it down Littorai and will try it! Thank you.

                                                          1. re: sedimental
                                                            j
                                                            jock RE: sedimental Dec 3, 2010 07:22 PM

                                                            i am 70. have met meadows but not tasted with him.

                                                            1. re: jock
                                                              s
                                                              sedimental RE: jock Dec 3, 2010 07:45 PM

                                                              well, you *are* an old fart!
                                                              I certainly want to update my cellar with New Pinot. I bought a Sea Smoke "southing" 2005 for a test. I haven't opened it yet, but I heard good things bout it. Have you tried it?

                                                              1. re: sedimental
                                                                j
                                                                jock RE: sedimental Dec 3, 2010 08:27 PM

                                                                i have had both the southing and the ten from sea smoke in several vintages. it is from the central coast and like most cc wines it is in the fruit bomb style. drink your sea smoke and other super-ripe pinots young. i do not buy and cellar ss and have no experience with how they age. but my experience with wines in that style is generally that the are best within a year or two of release. your 05 should still be fine.

                                                                a favorite of mine from the central coast is arcadian. they tend to be lower alcohol and more restrained. they take well to a little bottle age. 5-10 yrs.

                                                                i taste thousands of wines each year but i buy and cellar wine to enjoy with food and seldom drink it all by itself as a "cocktail". i find wines like sea smoke difficult to pair with food. big wines tend to win tastings but they often overpower the food in a meal.

                                                                1. re: jock
                                                                  s
                                                                  sedimental RE: jock Dec 4, 2010 12:34 PM

                                                                  I see, another fruit bomb...that is probably why my friend thought I would like it!
                                                                  I probably will. I have no trouble pairing fruit bombs with food, especially on a weekend in the middle of the day at home....but that is a subject for another thread :)

                                                                  1. re: jock
                                                                    njfoodies RE: jock Dec 5, 2010 05:19 PM

                                                                    I disagree 100% with drinking Sea Smoke young and not cellaring it. We have been buying Sea Smoke from their first vintage, and I love these with some age? The '01's - '03's are really coming into their own and drinking nicely right now. The '04's and '05's are drinking OK right now, but could definitely use more cellar time.

                                                                    Sea Smoke makes big wines, and they really need time for the alcohol and oak to integrate. I am not trying to offend jock in the least, but this is my experience. We've been on their mailing list for years now, and have over 50 Sea Smoke wines in the cellar. By far one of my favorite Santa Rita Hills Pinot producers! -mJ

                                                                    1. re: njfoodies
                                                                      s
                                                                      sedimental RE: njfoodies Dec 5, 2010 06:27 PM

                                                                      That is good to know njfoodies. I did not have a "plan" for the 2005, I actually just forgot about it. I looked it up on cellartracker and it appears there are many folks that also prefer it aged.
                                                                      As a side note: I went digging in my storage unit today for some bottles to bring home. I discovered a case of 1992 Caymus barrel fermented Pinot Noir Blanc. I brought one bottle home to see what time had done to it and to perhaps make a salad dressing with it, lol. Holy Smokes!!! It is stunningly complex while it still has fruit. The nose is sharp and certainly tastes like a "newer" white wine...but it would really be a bit of a "stumper" in a blind taste test! My spouse said it best....It's CRAZY...... Charley knew what he was doing!

                                                                      1. re: sedimental
                                                                        s
                                                                        sedimental RE: sedimental Dec 6, 2010 10:49 AM

                                                                        ...........oops, I meant "bottle fermented" Pinot Noir Blanc. BTW, it appeared to have some fizz left in the bottle but didn't have any in the glass. Fabulous color and taste.

                                                                      2. re: njfoodies
                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: njfoodies Dec 8, 2010 08:25 PM

                                                                        This might also depend on one's palate. In most cases, I also enjoy more age on my PN's, but some, even younger wines, can offer a lot to some folk. Better? Not by my palate, but wife usually appreciates them a bit younger, like her Vintage Ports. To each their own.

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                        PS - even with PN's, like Acacia, I like a few years on the vintage.

                                                                      3. re: jock
                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: jock Dec 8, 2010 08:21 PM

                                                                        Those ARE "fruit bombs," but for some palates (mine here), they do have a place. I can enjoy a "I am a PN, but think I am a big Syrah" wine, as well as a very subtle, nuanced PN, that reveals itself over several hours.

                                                                        Normally, I like a PN that "whispers" to me, and has several alluring lines, but there are times, where the "I'm here, enjoy me you hedonist wino, you!" works too. It all depends.

                                                                        We need to gather for some PN's. I have managed to ween my lovely wife away from only Cal-Chard monsters, and introduce her to some wonderful FR Chards, and maybe it's time that you teach me more about red Burgs too. I love 'em, but bet you could teach me a ton.

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                  2. re: sedimental
                                                                    c
                                                                    Cary RE: sedimental Dec 9, 2010 01:18 PM

                                                                    You should definitely write down Rhys. Getting on the mailing list NOW.

                                                                    1. re: Cary
                                                                      s
                                                                      sedimental RE: Cary Dec 9, 2010 05:20 PM

                                                                      I am looking into it "as we speak"....thanks so much!

                                                                  3. re: jock
                                                                    Bill Hunt RE: jock Dec 8, 2010 08:16 PM

                                                                    Jock,

                                                                    You make some great points, as always, an do specify that it's per your palate. That is very important. When dealing with the wonderful nuances of PN, the individual palate is very, very important. As you know, I can appreciate many different styles, and from different locations. Each can be enjoyed, depending on the food, the time of night, or my mood. Well-made, and balance are still important, however.

                                                                    As for reviewers, I have a few, with whom I know that I will disagree, and then some, with whom I think that I will agree. I try to read the descriptions, and let those guide me. When it comes to points, or similar, I often know that if X liked it, I probably will not, and if Y loved it, I might, as well. No reviewer can possibly hit it for all.

                                                                    Just my opinion,

                                                                    Hunt

                                                                    PS - how are things going? Anything that we PHX folk should know about?

                                                        2. s
                                                          seiun RE: Frodnesor Apr 14, 2012 08:34 PM

                                                          Who cares? You're comparing apples to oranges. It's a complete waste of time.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: seiun
                                                            z
                                                            zin1953 RE: seiun Apr 15, 2012 11:56 AM

                                                            So you re-open a thread begun some four-and-a-half years ago to say "Who cares?" And that was because . . . why?

                                                            And would would NOT -- in some sense -- be your "apples-to-oranges"? Would comparing a wine from the Côte Chalonnaise to the Côte d'Or not be apples to oranges? Or, a Sancerre Rouge to Côte d'Or? What about a Côte de Beaune to a Côte de Nuits? A Bourgogne to a Premier Cru? A Villages-level wine to a Grand Cru? Are these not apples to oranges?

                                                            But what if the Bourgogne and the her Cru are from the same domaine -- say Méo-Camuzet -- is it still apples-to-oranges?

                                                            What if they are from the same négociant? And would it really matter if it was (e.g.) Joseph Drouhin rather than (e.g.) Dominque Laurent?

                                                            And what if it were two different domaines, or two different négociants? Or two different appellations?

                                                            And what if you have a consulting winemaker working for the same wineries -- say one in Central Otago, and the other in Savigny-les-Beaune? Is it worth ***nothing*** to taste those two wines side-by-side?

                                                          2. Robert Lauriston RE: Frodnesor Apr 15, 2012 09:57 AM

                                                            I was tasting some 2010 Balletto Russian River Pinot Noir with the winemaker yesterday, and asked him why California Pinots taste so different from European ones. He said one big difference is that in France and Germany they often don't destem. He also said he thinks in California the pendulum is swinging away from the fruit-bomb style.

                                                            12 Replies
                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                              z
                                                              zin1953 RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 15, 2012 12:09 PM

                                                              They don't destem, Robert, because more often than not, the stems in Burgundy aren't green and full of sap they way they are at harvest here in California. It's much more complicated than that (as you know). Soil types are different, microclimates are different, clones are different, the yeast strains are often very different, as are the fermentation and aging regimes . . .

                                                              1. re: zin1953
                                                                j
                                                                jonapurcell RE: zin1953 Apr 15, 2012 03:22 PM

                                                                New world pinots are more like Syrah from Australia than Red Burgundy- many thanks to Mr. Parker. Instant gratification has driven most of the new world to produce high alcohol Hawaiian punch that isn’t much fun to drink with any food except a burned steak.

                                                                Parker can be personally blamed for the premox issues with White Burgundy- due to excessive battonage by many domains that wanted to earn a good score from him…so says Pierre Yves Colin Morey- perhaps the best white burg maker in the Core Dor.

                                                                Love live Allen Meadows and Richard Juhlin…ages wine is sublime, ethereal, sometimes even magic…but not aged new world wine for the most part. My cellar has zero new world wine…it's all over the place. The 75% rule is the silliest thing in the wine world…buy a pinot and it could be 25% anything else LEGALLY! Ludicrous! Sit next to a wine maker and ask him what he put into his pinot to make it plumper, sexier at a young age…it’s creative but not for me.

                                                                The wine world is score driven- that’s the reality. We just need the right reviewers to follow…

                                                                Much more new world wine needs to be sold in a box...why waste the glass?

                                                                1. re: jonapurcell
                                                                  Bill Hunt RE: jonapurcell Apr 15, 2012 07:37 PM

                                                                  Those are very broad statements, and I think that I can counter almost every assertion, with New World vs Old World examples, and then exceptions.

                                                                  As Jason suggests, there are almost no "absolutes."

                                                                  Hunt

                                                                  1. re: jonapurcell
                                                                    g
                                                                    goldangl95 RE: jonapurcell Apr 15, 2012 10:21 PM

                                                                    A rather strange post, but will engage a bit.

                                                                    There's a universe of difference between a Russian River producer trying to copycat a Cote de Nuit Burgundy, and a Russian River producer following the lessons and care of a Cote de Nuit producer.

                                                                    The most beloved and interesting beliefs/ideology of Burgundy for me, is the belief in Terroir. This belief in Terroir fundamentally means that Russian River Pinots should not be aiming to taste like Burgundies or for that matter Willamette Valley Pinots. Each location's weather, earth, grapes, and winemaker should contribute to making a personalized, and recognizable style that honors the area the wine comes from.

                                                                    Wines from places outside Burgundy may not appeal to you. But to denigrate producers across the world for making wines that showcase their origin seems short-sighted - and perhaps far more ridiculous than any score by Mr. Parker.

                                                                    1. re: goldangl95
                                                                      z
                                                                      zin1953 RE: goldangl95 Apr 16, 2012 07:32 AM

                                                                      Amen!

                                                                      /\/\/\/\/\

                                                                      The French make the best FRENCH wines in the world; the Californians make the best CALIFORNIA wines in the world; the Italians -- yup, they make the best ITALIAN wines in the world, just as the Aussies make the best AUSTRALIAN wines in the world . . . and even when two wines are produced from the same cultivar, the list of differences between the two is typically longer than and typically far outweighs, any similarities between them.

                                                                      No one (probably) has upset more people on this board than I have over the past several years as when I refer to "Pinot-as-Syrah" -- though I agree with jonapurcell that "Pinot-as-Shiraz" is a better descriptor -- but a) NEVER has all New World Pinot Noir wines, not even all Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noirs, fallen into that category, and b) as with many things in life, wines go through "swings of the pendulum," that tend to shift every 10-20 years . . . the "ink monsters" of the 1970s, the "food wines" of the 1980s, the "Parkerized" wines of the 1990s . . .

                                                                      This, too, shall pass (and is, thank heavens!)

                                                                      Cheers,
                                                                      Jason

                                                                      1. re: zin1953
                                                                        j
                                                                        jonapurcell RE: zin1953 Apr 16, 2012 08:33 AM

                                                                        Jason- Well said! Mondovino - the movie- makes a good point in " let’s not drive the world of wine to make one internationalized STD: Hawaiian Punch with 15-17% alcohol and age - ability measured in weeks”

                                                                        Sure some brave folks and commercially blind!.... make age worthy wine in CA...White Rock for example....of course these wine makers TEND to have been fully exposed or schooled in France/Italy.

                                                                        At the end of the day...once you’ve tasted JUST ONE ethereal old Burgundy- even white Burg- you understand that the new world is missing much of what wine CAN be. Note Juhlin's top 50 Champagnes EVER in his 2000 Champagne book. The best are from the 1920s-1950s. If you never had one...sell some Punchie wine and buy one!!

                                                                        I exposed my oldest son to Burgs from 1920s to 1990s while in college…and now he wants to attempt to make these wines. He’s realized that this is best done in France…so it off to Baume under the wing of the matriarch Becky Wasserman- a living saint. She mortgaged her own house to help Denis Bachelet buy his first oak barrels. Now Clive Coates has Denis as one of the best producers at 3 Stars in his red book…good investment!! France provides liquid history with the best wines…the US focuses more on 'hedonistic' (Parkers favorite word!!!) pleasures….prostitute vs. marriage I think.

                                                                      2. re: zin1953
                                                                        The Chowhound Team RE: zin1953 Apr 16, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                                        Hey, folks, just a quick request that you keep things focused on the wine, and not on your fellow hounds, please. We've removed some testy personal comments from this thread. Thanks.

                                                                  2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                    Bill Hunt RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 15, 2012 07:34 PM

                                                                    Robert,

                                                                    As you well know, besides the stems, there are many, many differences, from clones, to soil, to micro-climates. That might be one element, but only one element. Then, there is the Brix, or ripeness component, plus the wine maker's desires and direction.

                                                                    Hunt

                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                      Robert Lauriston RE: Bill Hunt Apr 15, 2012 07:45 PM

                                                                      Yeah, I just hadn't heard that one before.

                                                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                        Bill Hunt RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 15, 2012 08:54 PM

                                                                        Robert,

                                                                        You are "pulling my leg," of course, aren't you?

                                                                        Hun

                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                          z
                                                                          zin1953 RE: Bill Hunt Apr 16, 2012 07:33 AM

                                                                          "Hun"? Didn't know you are Robert were that close, Bill . . .

                                                                          ;^)

                                                                          1. re: zin1953
                                                                            Bill Hunt RE: zin1953 Apr 16, 2012 07:59 PM

                                                                            Hey, we are practically "joined at the hip," "twin sons of a different mother... "

                                                                            Hunt

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