Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.

The King of Red Grape Varieties

Cabernet Sauvignon
21
47%
Merlot
0
No votes
Syrah
4
9%
Sangiovese
0
No votes
Nebbiolo
5
11%
Cabernet Franc
1
2%
Pinot Noir
9
20%
Pinotage
1
2%
Other (Please Specify)
4
9%
 
Total votes : 45

Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:54 pm

Michael, Hi....

Agreed that generalizations can be "dangerous" but by heaven, they are often so convenient, so true and so much fun.
If you have the patience and the curiosity, see my little essay on generalizations at http://www.stratsplace.com/rogov/genera ... aking.html

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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby YoelA » Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:02 pm

Cabernet gets all the best press (no pun intended) for sure, but when it comes down to to true royalty, whether king or emperor, how can it be anything but


Pinot noir


(Even if I can't afford the grat ones)
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Tim York » Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:42 am

I disqualify Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot on the grounds of their needing blending for best results.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Robin Garr » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:21 am

Ryan Maderak wrote:It seems almost a cliche, but if there is a king of reds, then it is in fact Cab Sauv. On the other hand, as I have said before, Cab Sauv may be kingly, but only the 'Blood of Jove' is godly! ;) (Sangiovese => Sanguis + Jovis = Blood of Jove = Blood of Zeus)

All true, Ryan (and I love Sangiovese!) You might be curious to know, though, that I have had more than one Tuscan grower argue insistently that it's not Jove or Zeus but really dialect for "St. Joseph." This makes no sense ... Santogiuseppe!? And none of the standard references even mention this. But I wonder if some folks in the Tuscan PR industry prefer invoking a good Catholic saint over a pagan deity.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Mark Noah » Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:37 pm

Grenache......... How could you not include this?
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Bill Spohn » Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:50 pm

Tim York wrote:I disqualify Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot on the grounds of their needing blending for best results.


Not sure I'd be so strict, though I do understand where you are coming from - if it is truly great, it should be able to stand on its own and shouldn't NEED other grapes to get where it is going. I know that French winemaker would not agree.

I suppose to judge on that basis one would have to look at wines that were 100% varietal or nearly so.

If you allow a maximum, say, of 10% of anything else but the main grape, what wines would fit that profile for either grape. Well, a lot of US wines, of course, many of them of exceptional merit. I'd have to look up Bordeaux - I think that Latour and Mouton get close in some vintages.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Ryan M » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:12 pm

Robin Garr wrote:But I wonder if some folks in the Tuscan PR industry prefer invoking a good Catholic saint over a pagan deity.


Although I have nothing solid to back it up, I would tend to agree with that. I did a little research and here's what I came up with. Sangiovese is noted by the 16th Cen. Although traditionally considered a Saint, official veneration of St. Joseph seems not to have began until the 15th Cen. You could get away with it if you use the Italian title for Saint, "San," and the Latin name for Joseph "Ioseph." Italian as a vernacular form of Latin first appeared in the 10th Cen, whereas the Italian langauge proper was first established in the 14th Cen. All of that adds up to, yes, it's historically and etemologically plausible. But, like you, I have never seen any reference to this interpretation of 'Sangiovese,' nor anything other than the standard. Even being very Catholic, I prefer the traditional interpretation.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Daniel Rogov » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:20 pm

True that the first modern mention of the Sangiovese grape was in the 16th century, but oenologists at UC Davis and the Catholic University of Milano are in general agreement that the grape is the same one that was known to the Etruscans quite a few years earlier.

My vote goes not to Joseph but to Jove. To add to that.....how many of our more "modern" religious beliefs did not originate in Pagan days. And let's not kid ourselves, as much as the barbarians were not quite as barbaric as most school-children think, neither were the pagans quite as paganistic.

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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Bill Hooper » Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:44 pm

In my house:
1. Pinot Noir
2. Nebbiolo
3. Cabernet Franc
4. Blaufrankisch/Lemberger/Kekfrankos
5. Sankt Laurent

But of course Riesling is King of ALL vines.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby David M. Bueker » Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:59 am

Well which variety is king does not depend on my preference, but rather on which variety really stands out as being the dominant grape making fine wine. Against my personal feelings I believe that it has to be Cabernet Sauvignon. Bordeaux is the old world standard & Cal Cab is the new world standard, so I can't see it going any other way.

Now if you ask what is the queen (or crown prince, etc.) of red wine varieties I would have to say Pinot Noir. I would personally place Pinot Noir as number 1, but it's just not that way in the world at large.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Bill Spohn » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:07 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Now if you ask what is the queen (or crown prince, etc.) of red wine varieties I would have to say Pinot Noir.


I'd agree with that.

Using the relational metaphor, if cab is king and Pinot queen, what would Foch or Pinotage be, the illigitimate cousin of a court hanger-on.....
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby David M. Bueker » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:11 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:Using the relational metaphor, if cab is king and Pinot queen, what would Foch or Pinotage be, the illigitimate cousin of a court hanger-on.....


The jester on the sideline in a cast.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:12 pm

Let's not knock the power of the upstarts as we keep in mind that several of the courtesans of French kings had far more influence on the economy and military status of that country than the kings themselves.

Vive duBarry. Vive Agnes Sorel.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Neil Courtney » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm

Why is Red in a Monarchy and White in an Empire? :D
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Bill Spohn » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:10 am

Neil Courtney wrote:Why is Red in a Monarchy and White in an Empire? :D



Hmm. I don't think choosing the oligarch of Rosé would work either.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Dave Erickson » Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:04 pm

Grenache. No other red grape responds so fully to its terroir. No other red grape is so flexible and giving: There are great ones from Calatayud that cost $10, and great ones from Chateauneuf du Pape that cost more than ten times that.

I'd have picked nebbiolo, but it's a Piemontese specialty. Cabernet is so virtuous it's boring; pinot noir is so variable it's tiresome.

Well, maybe syrah. You can do a lot with syrah. Except cheap syrah/shiraz is almost uniformly awful, while cheap grenache (especially when it flies under the flag of "garnacha,") can be quite wonderful.

So grenache it is. Deal with it.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby JC (NC) » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:16 pm

I learned Cabernet Sauvignon as the king of grapes and Chardonnay as the queen of grapes in my first wine appreciation class but I will go with my heart, soul, palate and nose and vote for Pinot Noir. It can be so aromatic, so complex, so lovely in its many forms and still complement a variety of foods.
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:51 pm

Mark Noah wrote:Grenache......... How could you not include this?


Other: Grenache!
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Rami K » Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:34 pm

Hi all,

I don't dine with the king often ..
But when i do, the Nebiolo is majestic and glorious.
I find it second to none.

(Birger, thats your queue..)
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:23 pm

I'm kicking this poll back onto the first page as I plan to mention it in today's 30 Second Wine Advisor along with announcing Cabernet Sauvignon as the forums' "Wine Focus" subject for October, and I thought I'd make it easy for visitors to find. Great poll!
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Re: Wine Poll #009: The King of Red Grape Varieties

Postby Rani Osnat » Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:50 pm

Cab is king, no doubt about that.

Pinot is the queen, and Nebbiolo her temperamental sister.

Merlot is the crown prince who will never ascend the throne.

Sangivese is the 14th in line to the throne, coming from a peasant background who married into royalty....
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