Monday, November 18, 2019

Classic Wines, Part 2

Last time we wrote about a report of a sommelier-approved list of twenty "classic" wines.  The list included nine whites and eleven reds.  The purpose for the list was for the educational benefit of wine lovers everywhere.  By setting forth a model of what each varietal grape type tastes like when grown in ideal conditions, other examples may be evaluated when compared to that ideal.

Here are the eleven "classic" reds on the list:

     1. Cabernet Franc
     2. Cabernet Sauvignon
     3. Gamay
     4. Grenache
     5. Malbec
     6. Merlot
     7. Nebbiolo
     8. Pinot Noir
     9. Sangiovese
     10. Syrah
     11. Tempranillo
     12. Zinfandel.

I like Wine Folly. They do a good job of explaining wine to most of us whether we have a background in the business or not.  This time however, not so much.  In their article they said the list was "slowly evolving."  That may shed light on the existence of a twelfth wine in what was supposed to be eleven reds to make a total of twenty wines.

In the last post we placed the ideal locale for the different types next to the grape name.  This time it didn't seem to make sense.  For Merlot, they say it's ideal location is wherever Cabernet Sauvignon is planted.  I don't think so.  Others list several locations, which is fine except the reader may assume the one listed first is the best or that each locale is equal to the others.  One type, Cabernet Franc, didn't list a locale at all.

Last time we also drew on a list from forty years ago that broke down grape types into "noble" varieties and common types.  The noble ones from the list above would include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo.  Those are the types that the taster could assume would show superiority over the others.  This schema is not without its problems.  Argentine Malbec, Northern Rhones and Australian Shiraz would have a legitimate case to contest their exclusion from nobility and all of the insipid Pinot Noir out there certainly doesn't deserve recognition as anything special.

Please join us this Thursday after 5pm when David Hobbs presents a tasting of Vrede Lust Riesling, Chateau Moulinat Red Bordeaux, Esser Monterey Pinot Noir and Venge Scout's Honor Napa Red Blend.  Then on Wednesday the 27th Adam Bess leads us in a Thanksgiving Eve tasting of four from his fine wine portfolio.  Please join us! 

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