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TomHill

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So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by TomHill » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:13 pm

So....I'm a bit confused here.
It has long been "known" that PinotNoir, particularly in Burgundy, expresses terroir...is transparent to the vnyd...translates the vnyd directly into the wine, better than any other grape. That is a "known fact".
However, the lovers of Piedmont Barolo/Barbaresco insist that...no....it's Nebbiolo that is most sensitive to the grapes terroir.
Yet the lovers of German riesling would have us believe that...no....it's Riesling which best expresses terroir, particularly in Germany.
Several months ago, Heimhoff insisted in his blog that Cabernet, particularly in the NapaVlly, is the grape that most reflects its terroir.
I've asked numerous winemakers (of those varieties) what it is about their grape that makes it so expressive of terroir? The answer is usually given w/ a lot of handwaving, no small degree of BS, and essentially saying "because it is".
Now I read in LoamBaby that JeffPatterson/MtEdenVnyds believes that Chard, particularly in the SantaCruzMtns, is most expressive of terroir. And in the very next article, BradBrown/BigBasin believes that Grenache is most transparent grape variety in the SCM region.
OK....let's assume that all these winemakers actually believe what grape they feel is most "transparent to the vnyd" and it's not just marketing BS to sell you a btl of wine or tell you a good tale. Even though they don't (as best I can tell) have any idea why that grape is such.
So....let's turn that question around:
What grape least reflects it terroir and why does it do it the least??
Anybody have any idea???
Tom
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Steve Edmunds » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:30 pm

Peverella! Ask Bill Cadman why.
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Tom Troiano » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:38 pm

Tom,

Slow day at work?
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Tom V » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:17 pm

Concord, hands down.
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Dale Williams » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:20 pm

Grenache? I'm sure there is people who claim Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, or Herbert Hoover were great presidents, too. Seriously, maybe it is true in SCM.

I'd GUESS that the grapes that least reflect terroir are those aromatic grapes like Muscat, Gewurztraminier, Viognier. Sure, all grapes can show characteristics based on where grown, but to me the varietal characteristics are more prominent in those. Or if you include Lambruscha grapes the foxiness leads.
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Bingo...

by TomHill » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:37 pm

Dale Williams wrote:Grenache? I'm sure there is people who claim Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, or Herbert Hoover were great presidents, too. Seriously, maybe it is true in SCM.

I'd GUESS that the grapes that least reflect terroir are those aromatic grapes like Muscat, Gewurztraminier, Viognier. Sure, all grapes can show characteristics based on where grown, but to me the varietal characteristics are more prominent in those. Or if you include Lambruscha grapes the foxiness leads.


Dale,
That is sorta my thought as well. Grapes w/ intense varietal character will probably make it tough to identify any nuances terroir
might bring to the wine.
Be careful you don't get the MillardFilmore fans riled and hijack this thread!! :-)
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Craig Winchell » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:58 pm

All grapes reflect their terroir, given that the terroir is the sum total of the environment in which the grapes are grown. Anyone who has tasted soapy, low acid, nearly flavorless Muscat understands that there are environments in which Muscat ought not to be grown. And anyone who appreciates Eucalyptus flavor in a Cab should be appreciative of the trees growing in proximity to the vineyard. Both perfect examples, negative and positive, of terroir. Therefore, I reject the question entirely.
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Brian K Miller » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:03 pm

Still think that wine making decisions generally trump "terroir" no matter what the winemaker may claim. Look at, for instance, Frog's Leap versus Darioush.

Conversely, and this may be controversial, but I've come to agree that the "natural" winemaking can trump terroir and even varietal. To a degree at least. Or at least, the natural wines seem to share characteristic flavors and textures which cross grape and region????
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Howie Hart » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:39 pm

Craig Winchell wrote:...Anyone who has tasted soapy, low acid, nearly flavorless Muscat understands that there are environments in which Muscat ought not to be grown...
This could be more a function of over-cropping than terroir, and would also apply to labrusca varieties, where tons per acre is more important than the quality of the grapes.
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Hoke » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:46 am

I'd say it all depends on the terroir.

Do you want terroir reflected in Central Valley grapes?
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:21 am

Tad late joining in here but what about Baco Noir? Mind you, I have only tasted from Ontario.
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Fredrik L » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:46 am

Mourvèdre! Stinks like a dead fox no matter where from; it would take a helluva terroir to obliterate that. :evil:

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Hmmmm...

by TomHill » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:50 am

Craig Winchell wrote:All grapes reflect their terroir, given that the terroir is the sum total of the environment in which the grapes are grown. Anyone who has tasted soapy, low acid, nearly flavorless Muscat understands that there are environments in which Muscat ought not to be grown. And anyone who appreciates Eucalyptus flavor in a Cab should be appreciative of the trees growing in proximity to the vineyard. Both perfect examples, negative and positive, of terroir. Therefore, I reject the question entirely.


Hmmm.....guess I'm supposed to go to my room, Craig?? :-)
Guess I've never had any Muscats that meet that description. Muscat seems to usually be pretty intense in flavor & aroma.
But, then, I've never had any really low-end Muscats.
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Ohhh..Oh

by TomHill » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:55 am

Brian K Miller wrote:Still think that wine making decisions generally trump "terroir" no matter what the winemaker may claim. Look at, for instance, Frog's Leap versus Darioush.
Conversely, and this may be controversial, but I've come to agree that the "natural" winemaking can trump terroir and even varietal. To a degree at least. Or at least, the natural wines seem to share characteristic flavors and textures which cross grape and region????


Ohhhh...Oh....you gonna have SweetAlice come down on you hard, Brian. Making comments like that!! :-)
Supposedly..."natural" wines are supposed to reflect terroir better than "unnatural" or manipulated wines.
But I think that that is a generalization and there are plenty of exceptions. Can you say "Coturri"??
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Hmmmmm...

by TomHill » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:02 pm

Hoke wrote:I'd say it all depends on the terroir.

Do you want terroir reflected in Central Valley grapes?


Why wouldn't you want terroir in a CentralVlly wine, Hoke?? Well...maybe if the grapes are grown down in Oildale...or right alongside
I-5 in Stockton....or next to a Fresno feedlot, you wouldn't want it.
I find in many/some CentralVlly wines a kind of earthy/mushroomy/loamy character that I assume is terroir of the CentralVlly (realizing that
the CentralVlly is a pretty large place). In fact, I get a bit of the CentralVlly terroir in some of the 2$Chuck. Guess that's why I hold that wine in such esteem??
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Hoke » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:10 pm

I can say "Coturri". I just can't drink Coturri. Where with others, it's a philosophy to be defended, with Coturri it's an excuse for bad wine making.
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Dale Williams » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:17 pm

I can say Coturri, but saying it makes me queasy.
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Steve Edmunds » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:30 pm

whenever I hear "Coturri" I usually say "Bless you."
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Lou Kessler » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:52 pm

Steve Edmunds wrote:whenever I hear "Coturri" I usually say "Bless you."

Last year when I said Coturri you said "get well". I demand more consistency. :roll:
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Steve Edmunds » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:59 pm

that's so 2012, though...
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Re: Ohhh..Oh

by Brian K Miller » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:30 pm

TomHill wrote:Ohhhh...Oh....you gonna have SweetAlice come down on you hard, Brian. Making comments like that!! :-)
Supposedly..."natural" wines are supposed to reflect terroir better than "unnatural" or manipulated wines.
But I think that that is a generalization and there are plenty of exceptions. Can you say "Coturri"??
Tom


Well...the natural wine character* is often what I am looking for (I tend to buy Louis/Dressner, Selection Massale, and the like untasted because I trust the importers' palates), and there certainly IS varietal and terroir character, so I shouldn't overstate my case. But there is also that distinctive shared flavor profile. :lol: Maybe the "standard" wines, which I mentally associate with the region or grape, are the problem and it is my tasting memory that automatically assumes "cabernet" should taste like a processed Napa Cab.

* Heck...even when it comes to beer I look for that. My favorite beers are Belgian and Belgian-style sour ales and lambics!)
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Brian K Miller » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:32 pm

Dale Williams wrote:I can say Coturri, but saying it makes me queasy.


Maybe Coturri should be distributed by Jenny and Francois? :twisted:
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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Mark Lipton » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:53 pm

Brian K Miller wrote:
Dale Williams wrote:I can say Coturri, but saying it makes me queasy.


Maybe Coturri should be distributed by Jenny and Francois? :twisted:


Or the guy (name redacted out of politeness) who brings in Cornelissen. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Re: So What Grape(s) Do NOT Reflect Terroir???

by Dale Williams » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:43 pm

Brian K Miller wrote:Maybe Coturri should be distributed by Jenny and Francois? :twisted:

Um, pretty sure at least in NY Coturri IS distributed by Jenny & Francois.
I actually like most of their portfolio.

Mark Lipton wrote:Or the guy (name redacted out of politeness) who brings in Cornelissen. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Who's the importer? I'm 1 for 2 in my tasting of Cornelissen, one great one at a big tasting, another that seemed possibly cooked. I realize (like say Scholium Project) they have heated supporters and detractors. I'd be happy to sample more, just a bit more expensive than my experimentation budget. But a lot of people I respect like the wines. I think Brian and Mark just blindly follow Bettane- natural wine haters! :)

But Coturri, I'd guess I've had 8-10 bottles. All but 3 undrinkably bretty. One that was actually pretty decent, one zin unflawed but pruney, and one red that actually bubbled/spewed out of the bottle as opened- I've never seen that elsewhere. Ever,
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