The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.

cuvee and meritage?

Moderators: Jenise, Robin Garr, David M. Bueker

no avatar
User

Thomas

Rank

Senior Flamethrower

Posts

3587

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:23 pm

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Thomas » Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:58 pm

Hoke wrote:
We read too much into these things. It's a simple case of who's got the power at whatever given moment. EU is on the rise...
_________________


Sooooo, Thomas---Brussels Rules!!!

That should get some British knickers twisted. :twisted:


The last time I changed money in France I was made quite aware whose power is waning and whose power is rising. Not to get political, but last night's speech must have lost us another ten cents to the Euro :roll:
User avatar
User

Hoke

Rank

Achieving Wine Immortality

Posts

10691

Joined

Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am

Location

Portland, OR

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Hoke » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:00 pm

Thomas wrote:
Hoke wrote:
We read too much into these things. It's a simple case of who's got the power at whatever given moment. EU is on the rise...
_________________


Sooooo, Thomas---Brussels Rules!!!

That should get some British knickers twisted. :twisted:


The last time I changed money in France I was made quite aware whose power is waning and whose power is rising. Not to get political, but last night's speech must have lost us another ten cents to the Euro :roll:


Yah....Bush's currency isn't very good anywhere right now, is it? :evil:
no avatar
User

Graeme Gee

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

178

Joined

Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:13 am

Location

Sydney, Australia

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Graeme Gee » Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:10 pm

But as mentioned before, Burgundy is certainly a place. I fully agree that place names - even foreign translations - ought to be reserved for product from those places. Even if it's also a style synonym, it's still a place. That means I have every sympathy with the exclusive use of
Borgogne/Burgundy
Rhein/Rhine
Mosel/Moselle, for example, for wines from those regions alone.

Hock is a bit dodgy, being an abbreviation, but I still think it should be reserved. 'Single-term' names are obvious - Champagne, Chablis, Vouvray, Sauternes, Barolo, Chianti, Rioja etc.
And Port and Sherry, being English bastardizations of Oporto and Jerez respectively, ought to be kept for wines from those areas.
General wine or stylistic terms I think should be available for all. 'Vintage' 'Amarone' 'Noble' 'Chateau' are not specific to wine producing areas. I think 'claret' falls into thast same category. It's not a place, it's a style. Have we ever established that a bottle has left Bordeaux bearing a label reading 'Claret'?*
Anyone who legally labels their wine 'Pinot-Chardonnay' or 'Sparkling' and then wants to put the phrase 'Methode Champenoise' on the label is just spoiling for a fight - the phrase 'methode traditionelle' or 'traditional method' will do as well.

*Having said all that, it's kind of hard to imagine anyone wanting to label a bottle 'claret' except for the very cheapest mass-market wines aimed at a domestic market, which is hardly going to cause anyone to lose sleep, or sales...!
cheers,
Graeme
User avatar
User

Hoke

Rank

Achieving Wine Immortality

Posts

10691

Joined

Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am

Location

Portland, OR

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Hoke » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:00 pm

*Having said all that, it's kind of hard to imagine anyone wanting to label a bottle 'claret' except for the very cheapest mass-market wines aimed at a domestic market, which is hardly going to cause anyone to lose sleep, or sales...!


Different perception of Claret on a label here in the US, Graeme. For instance, Newton, a Napa Valley winery, offered Newton Claret. It was neither mass market, nor cheap.
User avatar
User

Maria Samms

Rank

Picky Eater Pleaser

Posts

1280

Joined

Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:42 pm

Location

Morristown, NJ

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Maria Samms » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:17 pm

Bob and Thomas...thank you for clarifications regarding claret and meritage.

Bob - Thank you so much for all of those resources. I look forward to reading and learning! I appreciate you taking the time to help me on my wine journey...fascinating stuff!

Thomas -

Thomas wrote:"I really don't believe the original perpetrators of misuse thought they were going to fool anybody. Do you?"

Hoke,

I do, just like the use of grape variety names didn't get off to an "honest" start in California...but then, I have been known to think the best of marketers


I agree with you on this one. I HAVE been fooled many times. As someone who knows little about wine, I feel that it's extremely misleading to label something burgundy, when it's possible that it may not even contain Pinot Noir grapes. I do feel like they are purposely doing it, so that people like me are fooled into buying their products. But then again, I am a very cynical person!

As far as Claret is concerned...these are what my 2 sources say they are:

From The New Wine Lover's Companion by Ron Herbst and Sharon Tyler Herbst:

claret [KHLA-eht] 1. A term used by the English when referring to the red wines from BORDEAUX. It is derived from the French clairet, which refers to a BORDEAUX wine with a style somewhere between a RED and a ROSE-in short, a light refreshing red wine. It's made by drawing fermenting wine off after very short skin contact. 2. Elsewhere, the word claret is sometimes used as a general reference to light red wines. Even though "claret" sometimes appears on labels, it has no legal definition.


The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil:
Claret - The British often call red Bordeaux claret. The word comes from the French clairet ,which originally referred to a light red wine. Today, of course, the top red Bordeaux are anything but light in color or in body.


I also have The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia by Tom Stevenson. This was bought by my husband in England about 10 yrs ago. This is what it has to say about claret:

"Clairet" is a term that refers to a red wine that is light in body and colour. Vin Claret in Old French was a term of respect; this suggests that Bordeaux achieved a reputation for limpidity before other wines.


I am really surprised at the different number of definitions and origins of this word. It seems all the book that I read (and even definitions that you all have given) state the definition as if that is the true meaning...but there are so many different ones. Incredible!
"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance" -Benjamin Franklin
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Bob Ross » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:29 pm

Thanks Oliver. You know, I've been so immersed in original sources, I've avoided the basic text -- apart from checking footnotes.

Tim, or Jancis, or someone else may have changed the entry in the Oxford 3 which is still sitting in its plastic wrapper on the bench in our entryway. It might be time to see if there's something new.

I'll send Tim an email -- good idea. Thanks. Regards, Bob
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Bob Ross » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:41 pm

"I am really surprised at the different number of definitions and origins of this word. It seems all the book that I read (and even definitions that you all have given) state the definition as if that is the true meaning...but there are so many different ones. Incredible!"

That's exactly what captured my attention in the first place, Maria. And the deeper I dig into the history of the word, the more interesting it all becomes. At some point I'll have to call an end -- but there are still some interesting threads to explore.

Many of the other words folks have discussed have an interesting but fairly well defined meaning. But not "claret".

Thanks for kicking off this thread, and for the kind words.

Regards, Bob
no avatar
User

Thomas

Rank

Senior Flamethrower

Posts

3587

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:23 pm

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Thomas » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:40 pm

Maria Samms wrote:
I am really surprised at the different number of definitions and origins of this word. It seems all the book that I read (and even definitions that you all have given) state the definition as if that is the true meaning...but there are so many different ones. Incredible!


Now you know how I feel when researching for a book. I've come to the conclusion that, at best, everything is an illusion; at worst, it's all marketing...
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Bob Ross » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:19 am

"Didn't Shaw refer in his book to having gotten a precise etymology (claret) from someone? Was that the Clairette reference you make?"

I must have missed something precise about the etymology of "claret", Thomas. Shaw is very clever at how he takes on other experts. I'll re-read the book -- but I can't recall anything in the second edition. Perhaps in the first?

Regards, Bob
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Bob Ross » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:52 am

Oh, Thomas, you dog you.

Redding has an important assertion about "clairet": take a look at this reference

There's a stake in the sand.

I've got to check out that "clairet". I passed over Rabelais on the grounds of ambiguity -- "C'est belle chose veior la clairét du (vin et escuz) Soliel." -- but perhaps a bit too quickly.

One guy wrote: "Rabelais is indeed, to use one of his most celebrated metaphors, a hard bone to crack. His work hints everywhere that analysis will be fruitless unless carried out with massive erudition and painstaking rigor."

What is an OF to do lacking both, but with fighting spirit?

Darned if I know .... but let's carry on.

Regards, Bob
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Bob Ross » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:22 pm

Clairet Report. Extremely Pale Rose has a delightful explanation of how "Clairet" came to be "Claret". I enjoyed the book for many reasons -- I believe there's a review around here somewhere -- but it was a joy to find it in full text on Google Books and enjoy it all over again.

Thanks, Thomas

Note: the section appears on pages 134-35. To read it free, you can go to Google Books and search on: extremely pale rose . Or, this link will take you to Amazon, where you need to have an account to read the section. It's too long to quote without violating copyright.
User avatar
User

Peter May

Rank

Pinotage Advocate

Posts

2195

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:24 pm

Location

Snorbens, England

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Peter May » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:54 pm

Graeme Gee wrote:
And Port and Sherry, being English bastardizations of Oporto and Jerez respectively, ought to be kept for wines from those areas.
General wine or stylistic terms I think should be available for all. 'Vintage' 'Amarone' 'Noble' 'Chateau' are not specific to wine producing areas. I think 'claret' falls into thast same category. It's not a place, it's a style.


Good points, but isn't Sherry a style of wine from Jerez, and isn't Port* a style of wine from the region around Oporto? Aren't there wines made in the same area that would not be labelled so, such as table wines?

Graeme Gee wrote:
[claret] It's not a place, it's a style.


Well, no. It's a red wine from Bordeaux. The place is paramount; there are different styles of Bordeax reds but they are all claret.


Graeme Gee wrote: Have we ever established that a bottle has left Bordeaux bearing a label reading 'Claret'?


Without a doubt - labelled for the UK market

*a name with no special meaning in the US
User avatar
User

Hoke

Rank

Achieving Wine Immortality

Posts

10691

Joined

Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am

Location

Portland, OR

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Hoke » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:16 pm

Graeme Gee wrote:

[claret] It's not a place, it's a style.



Well, no. It's a red wine from Bordeaux. The place is paramount; there are different styles of Bordeax reds but they are all claret.


Being rather Bushian here, aren't you, Peter? Selecting what you wish to hear and believe, and rejecting anything that doesn't fit in your pre-determined world view?

I think Bob, and others, have provided some pretty sound evidence that the claret issue is not as clear cut as you so firmly believe it is.
User avatar
User

Peter May

Rank

Pinotage Advocate

Posts

2195

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:24 pm

Location

Snorbens, England

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Peter May » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:17 pm

Bob Ross wrote: .

1. A couple of factual questions: do you have any learning on whether the discussions about how "Claret" "designates" a place, i.e. Bordeaux?


All I learned, too many decades ago, was that it was a Anglicisation of the French clairet, which is what the French merchants called the pale red Bordeaux wines. (That was before M Rolland of course). And the pink Bordeaux is still sometimes labelled as clairet in France

Bob Ross wrote:
The only thing I've read indicates the British negotiators at the EU were able to show that the word "claret" had been used in English to describe wine for over 300 years. But nothing about the standard of proof that it had been used to describe wines made from grapes grown in Bordeaux.


I read that ruling at the time - it was initiated by the UK wine trade - but didn't look into the proof, because it was so plainly obvious.

2. I notice on Wine Searcher Pro that wine merchants often add the word "Burgundy" to the names of wines on offer, e.g. Bougogne Chardonnay, Recolte de Chateau de Chassagne-Montrachet, Maison Michel Picard France - Burgundy, 2006 $16.27
Bottle
24-Jan-2007

Bob Ross wrote:
Would that be common in the UK in brick and mortar shops? In printed catalogs?


Burgundy? Well, wine lists (restuarant and stores) are headed Burgundy is thats what you mean. And all the Burgundies are listed below.

Claret? It certainly was very common, and in wine lists. I think recently tho' with more knowledge, more centralisation of shop ownership, corporate styles produce marketing signage standardised on place names.

Thing is, when I get back home I'll have to consciously look, because I wouldn't notice, claret meand red Bordeaux so if the shop shelves had a sign above them saying claret I know what's there without thinking anything was unusual.

Bob Ross wrote:
I'm asking in large part because my impression is that British wine consumers are much more sophisticated, by and large, that American wine consumers.

Drink wine more regularly, treat it like a enjoyable drink and don't get so worried by food and wine matching and etc, but the vast mass of UK wine drinkers know no more about the wines they scoop up in the supermarket than US consumers know about the ice tea and coca cola they instead consume with their dinner.

[/quote]
User avatar
User

Peter May

Rank

Pinotage Advocate

Posts

2195

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:24 pm

Location

Snorbens, England

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Peter May » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:20 pm

Hoke wrote:
Graeme Gee wrote:

[claret] It's not a place, it's a style.



Well, no. It's a red wine from Bordeaux. The place is paramount; there are different styles of Bordeax reds but they are all claret.


Being rather Bushian here, aren't you, Peter? Selecting what you wish to hear and believe, and rejecting anything that doesn't fit in your pre-determined world view?

I think Bob, and others, have provided some pretty sound evidence that the claret issue is not as clear cut as you so firmly believe it is.


Uh, Hoke

I was responding to a particular point by Graeme. I did hear and I responded.
User avatar
User

Hoke

Rank

Achieving Wine Immortality

Posts

10691

Joined

Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am

Location

Portland, OR

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Hoke » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:32 pm

Gee, Peter, I thought the Bush jab would get more of a response from you than that. :D

But seriously: I understand you were replying specifically to GG, but it seemed to me that you were merely restating what you maintained originally, despite the voluminous discussion and presentation of research disputing exactly and precisely what you said in your response (that there is no dispute over what claret means).

Mind you, I agree that the prevalence in England (at least in wine circles, small though they be) is as you say. But England is but a small place, and wine lovers merely a small subset of that small place, and other people have other opinions.

But never fear: when I next come to Jolly Olde, I'll write a note to remind myself to use the word claret properly at all times. You will be serving claret, won't you? :D
User avatar
User

Isaac

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

304

Joined

Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:08 pm

Location

Corvallis, Oregon

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Isaac » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:41 pm

Hoke wrote:Hey, in a few hundred years, none of us will be speaking "English" anyway. Not as we know it. And all this will be moot (another word that has gone through some serious changes in its lifetime.) :D
In a few hundred years, I don't expect I'll be speaking anything, English or otherwise!
User avatar
User

Hoke

Rank

Achieving Wine Immortality

Posts

10691

Joined

Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:07 am

Location

Portland, OR

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Hoke » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:44 pm

Isaac wrote:
Hoke wrote:Hey, in a few hundred years, none of us will be speaking "English" anyway. Not as we know it. And all this will be moot (another word that has gone through some serious changes in its lifetime.) :D
In a few hundred years, I don't expect I'll be speaking anything, English or otherwise!


You have to be more optimistic, Isaac. We original BabyBoomers firmly maintain that we will live forever. And it's all about us.
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Bob Ross » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:04 pm

Thanks for the responses, Peter. If you come across the submission by the wine trade, I'd be glad to get a copy. Is it your memory that the submission came from the UK wine trade? I.e. it wasn't a French initiative?

"... the vast mass of UK wine drinkers know no more about the wines they scoop up in the supermarket than US consumers know about the ice tea and coca cola they instead consume with their dinner."

That would be a very high standard indeed, Peter. Branding in the ice tea and soft drinks worlds are very important to consumers here. People have incredibly strong preferences -- not all of it driven by advertising and marketing.

Thanks for the responses.

Regards, Bob
User avatar
User

Peter May

Rank

Pinotage Advocate

Posts

2195

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:24 pm

Location

Snorbens, England

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Peter May » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:12 pm

Hoke wrote: But seriously: I understand you were replying specifically to GG, but it seemed to me that you were merely restating what you maintained originally, despite the voluminous discussion and presentation of research disputing exactly and precisely what you said in your response (that there is no dispute over what claret means).


I agree that the discussion is going round and round in circles, and it confuses me, but you seem to be saying I can't state my position because others have a different one.

I believed Graeme was saying (I may be wrong) that claret cannot be one of the protected words because it is used to identify a style not a place, (thus we are discussing whether the current protection of the word in the EU is valid), whereas other anglicised words soley identify a place and not a style. That was what I was addressing.

You are quite correct that others have over the years used claret to mean other things. But others have used Champagne and Burgundy to mean other things and yet that they should be protected isn't being argued against (Hell if anyone wants to, please start another thread, cos this one is busy right now)

And when you say that only a small group of wine lovers in jolly old blighty use the term, that is not the issue; the point is that the word when applied to wine has that specific legal meaning in the EU. So when I state it is red Bordeaux, I am stating what UK and EU law says.
User avatar
User

Isaac

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

304

Joined

Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:08 pm

Location

Corvallis, Oregon

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Isaac » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:12 pm

Hoke wrote:You have to be more optimistic, Isaac. We original BabyBoomers firmly maintain that we will live forever. And it's all about us.
Perhaps, but I have no desire to become a Struldbrug.
User avatar
User

Peter May

Rank

Pinotage Advocate

Posts

2195

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:24 pm

Location

Snorbens, England

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Peter May » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:20 pm

Bob Ross wrote: Is it your memory that the submission came from the UK wine trade? I.e. it wasn't a French initiative?


Thats my recollection. I think there was a call through the EU for names that sgould be protected and the wine trade said, well hold on, we've been using the word claret since the year dot. And after all, the vineyards of Bordeaux were English.

Bob Ross wrote:
That would be a very high standard indeed, Peter. Branding in the ice tea and soft drinks worlds are very important to consumers here.



I bow to your superior knowledge. I do actually have can a can of ice tea somewhere. Liptons were trying their umpteenth relaunch of the miserable stuff by giving away cans outside a supermarket. The marketing team were so despondent because no-one was taking them that I accepted the thrust out offering.

So next time you're passing Snorben's I can give you a real down home Yankee drink. And it has been aged :lol:
no avatar
User

Steve Slatcher

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

830

Joined

Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:51 pm

Location

Manchester, England

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Steve Slatcher » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:23 pm

Hoke wrote:Mind you, I agree that the prevalence in England (at least in wine circles, small though they be) is as you say. But England is but a small place, and wine lovers merely a small subset of that small place, and other people have other opinions.

(Shrug.) Believe what you will then.
User avatar
User

Peter May

Rank

Pinotage Advocate

Posts

2195

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:24 pm

Location

Snorbens, England

Re: cuvee and meritage?

by Peter May » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:24 pm

Hoke wrote:Gee, Peter, I thought the Bush jab would get more of a response from you than that. :D

you were merely restating what you maintained originally, despite the voluminous discussion and presentation of research disputing exactly and precisely what you said in your response


Oh, is that what you meant by Bushism, like when he says he is winning in Iraq?
PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Patrick Martin and 5 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign