Mega Purple and Pinot Noir

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G. Bienstock
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#1 Post by G. Bienstock » May 29th, 2018, 5:32 pm

In the past few months I have been served 2 PN that must have used Megapurple, Elouan and Angeline. Both very dark, dense and a little sweet. There was a sameness in the profiles.

Yuck!
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#2 Post by Dan Kravitz » May 29th, 2018, 5:49 pm

A terrible accusation, but not necessarily false.
But maybe some Syrah and a few drops of fructose solution as the culprits?

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#3 Post by larry schaffer » May 29th, 2018, 7:20 pm

Why not mention the specific wineries and let's see what we can find out?

How do you know they didn't blend in Napa Gamay or some other very dark variety instead?

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#4 Post by John Morris » May 29th, 2018, 7:32 pm

Megapurple is for color and tannin, as I recall. I don't think it would make a wine sweet.

Perhaps just very overripe fruit?
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#5 Post by larry schaffer » May 29th, 2018, 7:35 pm

Most likely concentrate added - not uncommon with large volume pinot and red blend producers . . .

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#6 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » May 29th, 2018, 7:39 pm

He did name the wineries I thought.

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#7 Post by larry schaffer » May 29th, 2018, 7:48 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:He did name the wineries I thought.
You are correct. The first one is an OR winery owned by Joe Wagner, who created the Meiomi brand. The second one is owned by Martin Ray Winery, who is owned by ???

We all probably know that Meiomi was and continues to be known for a riper style of Pinot that has a considerable amount of RS - is it from sugars left over after fermentation or from concentrate being added? No one knows for sure . . .

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#8 Post by ky1em!ttskus » May 29th, 2018, 7:55 pm

Larry, PN isn’t the color of Meomi. ;)

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#9 Post by G. Bienstock » May 29th, 2018, 8:33 pm

These were both dark wines, no transparency. There was a perceptible sameness that was just not PN like.
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#10 Post by G. Bienstock » May 29th, 2018, 8:36 pm

From wikipedia

"Mega Purple is a grape juice concentrate by Canandaigua Concentrates of Madera, California, a division of Constellation Brands. It is used as a food additive. The process used for producing the additive is proprietary. Based on the descriptions of effects to wines by winemakers it is likely produced by a series of processes such as vacuum distillation, fractional distillation, and solvent extraction. The product is one of a series of concentrates marketed as kosher additives for food with names such as Mega "Cherry Shade" Grape Juice Concentrate, Mega Purple Grape Juice Concentrate, Mega Red Grape Juice Concentrate

In winemaking
There has been some discussion in the industry regarding the use of additives such as Mega Purple to bolster or enhance sensory attributes such as color, taste and mouth feel. It is reported that as much as 20% of the total production of such additives is related to wines. According to journal reports, Mega Purple is used by almost every low- to moderate-value wine producer (below $20US per 750 ml bottle) to help standardize the bottled product ensuring a more uniform product.[1]

It is produced by concentrating the teinturier grape Rubired, a cross between Alicante Ganzin and Tinta Cão, has 68% sugar and sells for approximately $135 a gallon."

Plenty of more on line articles out there.
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#11 Post by Chris Seiber » May 29th, 2018, 9:24 pm

Pinot that is very ripe and oaky tastes like that. For some reason, critics of the style seem drawn to the idea that it must be chemicals or syrah or something secretly added in, but I’ve seen little evidence or other reason to think that.

Anyway, it’s easy enough to avoid if it’s not your thing.

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#12 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » May 29th, 2018, 11:26 pm

Just my $.02:

Mega-purple should be banned from any AVA based wine production. It’s a grape concentrate and unless your fruit is Languedoc based, adding a concentrate is definitely not being true to place.

Lots of it is being used in production and not all is for inexpensive wines. Many people may smell an over ripe Pinot Noir and think it’s the product of an addition of a concentrate...and sometimes they are right.
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#13 Post by Michae1 P0wers » May 30th, 2018, 7:23 am

Chris Seiber wrote:Pinot that is very ripe and oaky tastes like that. For some reason, critics of the style seem drawn to the idea that it must be chemicals or syrah or something secretly added in, but I’ve seen little evidence or other reason to think that.

Anyway, it’s easy enough to avoid if it’s not your thing.
Except that the widespread use of concentrate (at least as reported by the except cited above) and, indeed, its very existence as a product would suggest that it is being used, and probably quite a bit. The type of wines that are mentioned here seem to me like the exact target of these products. They appeal to a taste for noticeably sweet and fruity wines, and they help provide consistency in the product. This isn't so much a value judgment, as these wines are marketed towards casual wine drinkers.

Now, if people want to make that accusation regarding more expensive, arguably "serious" CA pinots I could see why you'd take issue. I would think the use of these products is more kept to the lower end of the market.

Although, isn't it true that CA allows you to blend in 20% (25?) of other grapes without disclosing that information? To me that would always tend to make it an open question of what is in the wine, particularly if it is not true to the expected grape's characteristics, such as very dark and fruity pinot.

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#14 Post by John Morris » May 30th, 2018, 7:29 am

Michae1 P0wers wrote: Except that the widespread use of concentrate (at least as reported by the except cited above) and, indeed, its very existence as a product would suggest that it is being used, and probably quite a bit. The type of wines that are mentioned here seem to me like the exact target of these products. They appeal to a taste for noticeably sweet and fruity wines, and they help provide consistency in the product. This isn't so much a value judgment, as these wines are marketed towards casual wine drinkers.

Now, if people want to make that accusation regarding more expensive, arguably "serious" CA pinots I could see why you'd take issue. I would think the use of these products is more kept to the lower end of the market.
Except that a number of winemakers have posted here and, years back, on the Parker board saying that it is used in a number of high-end wines. So your assumption that this is limited to high-volume wines may simply be wrong.
Michae1 P0wers wrote:Although, isn't it true that CA allows you to blend in 20% (25?) of other grapes without disclosing that information? To me that would always tend to make it an open question of what is in the wine, particularly if it is not true to the expected grape's characteristics, such as very dark and fruity pinot.
Any wine labeled with a grape variety must be at least 75% that grape, so it's 25% that can be anything. It's federal, not state law.
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#15 Post by Michae1 P0wers » May 30th, 2018, 7:42 am

I'm not really assuming it isn't used in higher end wines, just that it's much more widespread in the cheaper stuff. Chris seemed to be taking the position that any suggestion of concentrate use is really just thumbing one's nose at purple drank. And while there is some of that I was attempting to distinguish between the types of wines the OP was discussing and higher-end wines made in a very ripe style. Again, this stuff doesn't exist for no reason at all, it is clearly being used, so to say there's no evidence of its use is rather silly IMO.

As for percentage, can AVAs require a higher percentage of the grape or more stringent labeling? If so, kind of surprised some of the more serious and smaller AVAs, particularly those dedicated almost entirely to cabernet or pinot, haven't done so. What about Oregon? Do they have a state law on this? I've never heard of the same practice there.

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#16 Post by John Morris » May 30th, 2018, 8:18 am

There are some state rules that supplement the federal ones, but the AVAs are a creature of federal law, and they are defined solely geographically; they're not like European appellation rules, most of which are both geographic and varietal. California law tracks federal law on the variety: only 75% of the grapes have to be of the labeled type.

Here's a summary of the California rules. It appears that the major difference is that the county must also be shown for some AVAs.
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#17 Post by Doug Schulman » May 30th, 2018, 9:39 am

G. Bienstock wrote:In the past few months I have been served 2 PN that must have used Megapurple, Elouan and Angeline. Both very dark, dense and a little sweet. There was a sameness in the profiles.

Yuck!
It could have to do with some kind of concentrate like Mega Purple, but there are also other ways of achieving that style. You can't know for sure unless someone involved in making the wine is honest about what they do.
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#18 Post by Jim Anderson » May 30th, 2018, 10:45 am

Michae1 P0wers wrote:I'm not really assuming it isn't used in higher end wines, just that it's much more widespread in the cheaper stuff. Chris seemed to be taking the position that any suggestion of concentrate use is really just thumbing one's nose at purple drank. And while there is some of that I was attempting to distinguish between the types of wines the OP was discussing and higher-end wines made in a very ripe style. Again, this stuff doesn't exist for no reason at all, it is clearly being used, so to say there's no evidence of its use is rather silly IMO.

As for percentage, can AVAs require a higher percentage of the grape or more stringent labeling? If so, kind of surprised some of the more serious and smaller AVAs, particularly those dedicated almost entirely to cabernet or pinot, haven't done so. What about Oregon? Do they have a state law on this? I've never heard of the same practice there.
Oregon's law is that for it to be labeled Pinot Noir it has to be 90% Pinot Noir. However, I am assuming (and probably correctly) that that 90% refers to Pinot Noir in relation to other grapes varieties being added in. Elouan could be using 100% Pinot Noir grapes and have 30% of the volume be MegaPurple (I am sure that is not the ratio but I am using it as an example) and still call it Pinot Noir. Here is the law. I don't know how much MP is added but I am pretty sure a little goes a LONG way so even if an additive was part of the law they would not come close to violating the standard.

"Oregon also has stricter regulations than other U.S. regions when it comes to labeling the varieties used in a wine. Federal regulation states that at least 75% of grapes used to make a wine must be of the declared variety in an identified appellation of origin. In Oregon, 90% or more of the wine must be from the named variety, including Oregon’s most widely produced wines: Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc and 50 other varieties known to grow in Oregon."
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#19 Post by Chris Seiber » May 30th, 2018, 11:38 am

I’m going to attempt to ask this question without being a dick but I may fail.

This is a style of wine that people in this thread, myself included, dislike and don’t buy. So why is it important to you whether there is Mega Purple or syrah added into these wines? If there were or were not those things in some cheap Joe Wagner pinot, what difference would that make to any of us?

I guess it feels to me like there is some need people feel to go beyond just disliking this kind of wine, and additionally to demonize the motives and practices of the people who make it. They’re doing it deliberately to get scores from Parker, they’re secretly adding chemicals, they’re sneaking syrah into it, they’re using wood chips, they’re violating the regulations.

It starts to feel like cable news / internet era political discourse. You can’t just disagree with some politician or party and support the other side, you have to feel like everyone on the other side are bad people with nefarious motives and so on.

Sorry, I probably failed and ended up sounding like a dick. I’ve just never understood the witch hunt for Mega Purple and syrah in the pinot and all that. Someone explain to me why that ought to be important and I’ll listen respectfully.

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#20 Post by G. Bienstock » May 30th, 2018, 11:42 am

When I buy or taste a PN I expect it to taste like PN. These 2 wines did not likely due to an additive.
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#21 Post by Sean Devaney » May 30th, 2018, 12:54 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:I’m going to attempt to ask this question without being a dick but I may fail.

This is a style of wine that people in this thread, myself included, dislike and don’t buy. So why is it important to you whether there is Mega Purple or syrah added into these wines? If there were or were not those things in some cheap Joe Wagner pinot, what difference would that make to any of us?

I guess it feels to me like there is some need people feel to go beyond just disliking this kind of wine, and additionally to demonize the motives and practices of the people who make it. They’re doing it deliberately to get scores from Parker, they’re secretly adding chemicals, they’re sneaking syrah into it, they’re using wood chips, they’re violating the regulations.

It starts to feel like cable news / internet era political discourse. You can’t just disagree with some politician or party and support the other side, you have to feel like everyone on the other side are bad people with nefarious motives and so on.

Sorry, I probably failed and ended up sounding like a dick. I’ve just never understood the witch hunt for Mega Purple and syrah in the pinot and all that. Someone explain to me why that ought to be important and I’ll listen respectfully.
Chris I totally agree with this. How many people have swooned over old burgundy's that may have been "Hermitaged"? Meiomi pinot is a huge seller and it is "ok" for what it is but I would never call it pinot noir. BTW I saw a tech sheet on Meiomi a few years ago that broke down the blend by varieties-pretty interesting.

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#22 Post by larry schaffer » May 30th, 2018, 1:07 pm

I think that it is important to have discussions like this here because, unbeknownst to many here, lots of folks on this board continue to enjoy wines like The Prisoner, Meimoi, Caymus, etc. It may not be my cup of tea, but that's okay.

It also raises the question of what is and is not 'allowed' here in the US and what actually happens with these wines. And note that if things are 'allowed', they 'can' be employed by smaller boutique wineries as well (whether or not that happens is still up to much discussion.

There are plenty of tricks to make a wine 'more marketable' in addition to the use of Mega Purple - one can use varietally derived concentrates (yep, easily available in over 30 'flavors'), one can add gum arabic prior to bottling to 'cover up' rough edges; one can blend in other varieties to achieve this.

Here's the 'funny' thing - I believe it's becoming more and more difficult to clearly define 'typicity' of certain varieties in lower priced wines. I've mentioned this story before and will do so again now - when I worked for another winery, we made a sub $20 pinot that put us in direct competition with lots of wines from Monterrey, Sonoma and elsewhere (pre-Meiomi). We did a blind tasting and our head winemaker was so proud that he could pick ours out - to him, it had the 'pinot funk', tannin and acid that made the wine more 'typical'. The problem - that is NOT what most consumers who are purchasing sub $20 pinots want - they want a 'generic' tasting red wine that they can say is a pinot. Strange? To many on this board it is, but not to others who understand that it's a very big wine world out there . . .

Carry on, folks . . .
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#23 Post by G. Bienstock » May 30th, 2018, 1:11 pm

Larry brings up a good term, generic. A dumbing down to a common denominator.
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#24 Post by larry schaffer » May 30th, 2018, 1:13 pm

G. Bienstock wrote:Larry brings up a good term, generic. A dumbing down to a common denominator.
Exactly - that's the way the 'general public' tends to like things when it comes to 'subjective' things like art, music, movies, and obviously wine. It's not a bad thing per se - other than what many are 'missing out' by not exploring more . . .

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#25 Post by MBerto » May 30th, 2018, 1:18 pm

G. Bienstock wrote:When I buy or taste a PN I expect it to taste like PN. These 2 wines did not likely due to an additive.
To my palate, the number of PN wines which "taste like PN" (again, to me) that cost under $30 can be counted without taking my shoes off. I compensate for this by not buying those wines, not by lobbing accusations at them.
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#26 Post by Jeff Rosenberg » May 30th, 2018, 1:27 pm

All other food manufacturers are required to list the ingredients in their products. Why do winemakers get a pass on this? I would really like to know what is in the “wine” that I buy. It would also be nice to know the unfermented sugar content.

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#27 Post by Wes Barton » May 30th, 2018, 2:35 pm

I've mentioned before that I got it on good authority (someone with first-hand knowledge) that a lot of well-regarded '11 Napa Cabs got a good dose of Mega Purple for style consistency. As in, to get those wines to show the typicity of all the previous vintages, which did not have Mega Purple. Don't know the labels, so can't judge the results.

The only wine I've had that I knew had Mega Purple was a Pinot Noir, though. It was some contracted fly-by-night grocery store type label that sold for something like $15. The winemaker was proud, because he took a hodgepodge of bulk Pinot and some of his own declassified PN and fixed it up, making a decent wine that really did taste like Pinot. Not sure if anyone could pick it out as having Mega Purple.

Someone we'll call Alan graciously brought a bottle of Meiomi to an OL for us to try. To me, it was clearly Pinot. It tasted like late press Pinot, when it gets sweet, with a bunch of oak chips added. Who knows what they're methodology is, but it would be easy to replicate. Maybe it is largely press wine, since Pinot makers tend to only use free run. It didn't have over-ripe flavors, just sweet and extracted.
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#28 Post by Jim Anderson » May 30th, 2018, 2:42 pm

Wes Barton wrote:I've mentioned before that I got it on good authority (someone with first-hand knowledge) that a lot of well-regarded '11 Napa Cabs got a good dose of Mega Purple for style consistency. As in, to get those wines to show the typicity of all the previous vintages, which did not have Mega Purple. Don't know the labels, so can't judge the results.

The only wine I've had that I knew had Mega Purple was a Pinot Noir, though. It was some contracted fly-by-night grocery store type label that sold for something like $15. The winemaker was proud, because he took a hodgepodge of bulk Pinot and some of his own declassified PN and fixed it up, making a decent wine that really did taste like Pinot. Not sure if anyone could pick it out as having Mega Purple.

Someone we'll call Alan graciously brought a bottle of Meiomi to an OL for us to try. To me, it was clearly Pinot. It tasted like late press Pinot, when it gets sweet, with a bunch of oak chips added. Who knows what they're methodology is, but it would be easy to replicate. Maybe it is largely press wine, since Pinot makers tend to only use free run. It didn't have over-ripe flavors, just sweet and extracted.
Honestly asking, which I know seems odd since it would seem that I should know but I really don't, is this really the case on a large sample basis? I am not super-connected and I tend not to have the most detailed conversations about specific actions taken by individual winemakers. Certainly not the case at my winery. No problem with pressing here. Off topic, I know. Sorry.
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#29 Post by John Morris » May 30th, 2018, 3:02 pm

Jim Anderson wrote:Oregon's law is that for it to be labeled Pinot Noir it has to be 90% Pinot Noir.
Thanks, Jim. I remember there was some state standard that was higher than the federal ones, but I couldn't remember what state or what the issue was.
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#30 Post by David Wright » May 30th, 2018, 3:15 pm

Jeff Rosenberg wrote:All other food manufacturers are required to list the ingredients in their products. Why do winemakers get a pass on this? I would really like to know what is in the “wine” that I buy. It would also be nice to know the unfermented sugar content.
It is one of our Great American Anachronisms (along with, e.g., the Mining Law of 1872.) Alcholic beverages fall under the purview of ATF, not FDA. https://www.vox.com/2014/11/12/7195573/ ... -nutrition

Ridge voluntarily lists ingredients for its wines: https://www.ridgewine.com/about/explore ... -labeling/

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#31 Post by John Morris » May 30th, 2018, 3:17 pm

G. Bienstock wrote:When I buy or taste a PN I expect it to taste like PN. These 2 wines did not likely due to an additive.
I don't see what basis you have for that. There are so many ways to make characterless wines.
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#32 Post by John Morris » May 30th, 2018, 3:20 pm

David Wright wrote:
Jeff Rosenberg wrote:All other food manufacturers are required to list the ingredients in their products. Why do winemakers get a pass on this? I would really like to know what is in the “wine” that I buy. It would also be nice to know the unfermented sugar content.
It is one of our Great American Anachronisms (along with, e.g., the Mining Law of 1872.) Alcholic beverages fall under the purview of ATF, not FDA. https://www.vox.com/2014/11/12/7195573/ ... -nutrition

Ridge voluntarily lists ingredients for its wines: https://www.ridgewine.com/about/explore ... -labeling/
And ads for real drugs have to substantiate their health claims and disclose risks and side-effects, while "health supplements" can make completely unsubstantiated claims. (My brain is numb from repeated Prevagen ads!)
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#33 Post by Mel Knox » May 30th, 2018, 5:23 pm

I think mega red is preferred as it is less traceable
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#34 Post by Wes Barton » May 30th, 2018, 5:42 pm

Jim Anderson wrote:
Wes Barton wrote:...Maybe it is largely press wine, since Pinot makers tend to only use free run. It didn't have over-ripe flavors, just sweet and extracted.
Honestly asking, which I know seems odd since it would seem that I should know but I really don't, is this really the case on a large sample basis? I am not super-connected and I tend not to have the most detailed conversations about specific actions taken by individual winemakers. Certainly not the case at my winery. No problem with pressing here. Off topic, I know. Sorry.
With the key being "tend to", that the impression I get. What we do, and what others I work with do (to the extent that I'd know) and what I've read and heard from others whose wines I like. It can vary by site, vintage, intended style, but generally the press wine will go into separate barrels. Some or all could later be blended back in, but much more likely to be used for topping wine and/or get declassified into the low-end Pinot and/or blended into an entry level odds and ends red wine.
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#35 Post by Jim Anderson » May 30th, 2018, 6:01 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
Jim Anderson wrote:
Wes Barton wrote:...Maybe it is largely press wine, since Pinot makers tend to only use free run. It didn't have over-ripe flavors, just sweet and extracted.
Honestly asking, which I know seems odd since it would seem that I should know but I really don't, is this really the case on a large sample basis? I am not super-connected and I tend not to have the most detailed conversations about specific actions taken by individual winemakers. Certainly not the case at my winery. No problem with pressing here. Off topic, I know. Sorry.
With the key being "tend to", that the impression I get. What we do, and what others I work with do (to the extent that I'd know) and what I've read and heard from others whose wines I like. It can vary by site, vintage, intended style, but generally the press wine will go into separate barrels. Some or all could later be blended back in, but much more likely to be used for topping wine and/or get declassified into the low-end Pinot and/or blended into an entry level odds and ends red wine.
Hmm. Have heard that as well. Never bought much into it. I find the pressed wine to be far more nutrient dense, healthier and better tasting than the free run which I find to be monochromatic in character. I don’t separate them, in fact I insist upon their combination while being pressed. I mean I taste and we cut it off if the load starts to go south but the press cycles I have set up generally are right for the musts that go into them. Different strokes.
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#36 Post by Cris Whetstone » May 30th, 2018, 6:23 pm

On the 'free run', I'd be interested in hearing more about that. I've hung out with a lot of Cali Pinot producers and never heard such a thing before. I know sometimes the free run stuff can be held for a vin gris type of rose but I've never heard of it being exclusively used for the finished product. It just doesn't seem to make sense to me. I'm sure someone has done it but I doubt it's a majority of producers.

I'm ready to be proven wrong though. [cheers.gif]
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#37 Post by Cris Whetstone » May 30th, 2018, 6:26 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:I’m going to attempt to ask this question without being a dick but I may fail.

This is a style of wine that people in this thread, myself included, dislike and don’t buy. So why is it important to you whether there is Mega Purple or syrah added into these wines? If there were or were not those things in some cheap Joe Wagner pinot, what difference would that make to any of us?

I guess it feels to me like there is some need people feel to go beyond just disliking this kind of wine, and additionally to demonize the motives and practices of the people who make it. They’re doing it deliberately to get scores from Parker, they’re secretly adding chemicals, they’re sneaking syrah into it, they’re using wood chips, they’re violating the regulations.

It starts to feel like cable news / internet era political discourse. You can’t just disagree with some politician or party and support the other side, you have to feel like everyone on the other side are bad people with nefarious motives and so on.

Sorry, I probably failed and ended up sounding like a dick. I’ve just never understood the witch hunt for Mega Purple and syrah in the pinot and all that. Someone explain to me why that ought to be important and I’ll listen respectfully.
Not at all Chris. I was going to straight out call the OP for trolling. Controversial topic and shallow top post, complaining and pointing fingers randomly without discussion, inquiry or more than cursory evidence. You're nicer than I. ;)
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#38 Post by Mel Knox » May 30th, 2018, 6:51 pm

Chris,
Remember: we are berserk!! You are right. Normal happy human beings don't care if other people drink Ajax mixed with Listerine and/or if they blend and decant the mixture three hours in advance.
They have lives.

By the way, people don't put Syrah in Pinot...they use petite syrah, mondeuse and charbono...Syrah is too expensive.
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#39 Post by GregT » May 30th, 2018, 7:08 pm

I’m going to attempt to ask this question without being a dick but I may fail.
fail.png
fail.png (127.48 KiB) Viewed 3380 times
But credit for making the attempt!
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#40 Post by G. Bienstock » May 30th, 2018, 10:05 pm

No troll here just a rant about a style of PN I do not like. Maybe somebody will actually taste one or preferably both of these wines and give their impressions.
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#41 Post by Jim Anderson » May 30th, 2018, 10:24 pm

Elouan=Meomi. Never going to try that. Ever. Ask someone on your block. They probably have.
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#42 Post by G. Bienstock » May 30th, 2018, 10:31 pm

I was at a tasting over the weekend and struck up a conversation with a manager of a local wine distributor. He brought up Meomi and I stated it was not my style of PN. He said to try Eloun, "it is completely different".

Not really and that is my point.
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#43 Post by GregT » May 30th, 2018, 11:43 pm

The guy made millions. I wish I had owned the company.

But it's like MacDonald's. I would never eat one but I wish I'd bought into the company back in the 1960s.

If you sell Meiomi for hundreds of millions, why would you start something that's entirely different? Do the same thing again and make another few hundred million.

And you only make that because you're producing something that many people like. Life could be worse.
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#44 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 31st, 2018, 12:07 am

Chris Seiber wrote:...
This is a style of wine that people in this thread, myself included, dislike and don’t buy. So why is it important to you whether there is Mega Purple or syrah added into these wines? If there were or were not those things in some cheap Joe Wagner pinot, what difference would that make to any of us?
...
You are asking two distinct questions here. 1. It's probably not terribly important to any of us. 2. As for what difference it makes: Knowing there were or were not those things in some cheap Joe Wagner pinot contributes to a greater understanding of wine. I perceive a meaningful difference between a 100% Pinot bottling and one that is 75% Pinot and 25% Syrah. That having been said, you're right that it wouldn't likely make any difference in the buying patterns of most folks here.
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#45 Post by Michae1 P0wers » May 31st, 2018, 6:34 am

MBerto wrote:
G. Bienstock wrote:When I buy or taste a PN I expect it to taste like PN. These 2 wines did not likely due to an additive.
To my palate, the number of PN wines which "taste like PN" (again, to me) that cost under $30 can be counted without taking my shoes off. I compensate for this by not buying those wines, not by lobbing accusations at them.

I find this to be an interesting statement. I don't know what your tastes run to, but I am sure I could find 100 under $30 pinots that tasted like pinot without trying very hard. Most wouldn't suffer from a lack of varietal character, but might lack depth or interest. For instance, take Bourgogne rouge: it almost always tastes like pinot noir, but it can often be too lean and sharply acidic. Even so, from the right producers in good years, these can be very good. Less chic communes also fall into that price point sometimes. Oregon is an even better example, as many, many producers make an entry-level wine under $30, and perhaps one or two levels above that. Again, these may or may not be something you like, particularly if you don't like wines on the more red-fruited side of the spectrum, but if they don't taste like pinot noir than I don't know what does.

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#46 Post by Adam Lee » May 31st, 2018, 6:49 am

One thing not discussed here thus far is that Meomi was known for freezing at least some of their grapes. What effect does that have?

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#47 Post by G. Bienstock » May 31st, 2018, 7:30 am

Freezing like icewine to remove water for more concentration?
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#48 Post by Adam Lee » May 31st, 2018, 12:32 pm

Exactly.

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#49 Post by Mel Knox » May 31st, 2018, 3:16 pm

Did he get the idea from Randall??
Wouldn t it be expensive to freeze grapes? Aren't there concentrators for sale?? You could get one used in Bordeaux.
I've only had Meomi a few times and I've found ita little boring. Perhaps I was expecting something that came in a ketchup bottle.
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#50 Post by Adam Lee » May 31st, 2018, 3:46 pm

MP: Are there any new winemaking techniques that you've experimented with?

JW: We have been toying with “cryo-extraction” for about a decade now with amazing success. Ultimately, our goal is to extract only skin tannin, and mitigate seed characters, which can be green and astringent. When freezing (cryo-extraction) the grapes, the cell walls of the skins burst open making more color, phenolics (mouthfeel components), flavors, and aromatics accessible. Along with this process, we don’t need to overwork the extraction in the fermentation where seeds could lend some negative character. It has been a fantastic way to make great red wines, but we are still working on how to make the process more efficient. There is always something new coming up, and this is one we are still just scratching the surface on.

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