New grapes approved for Bordeaux

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GregT
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New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#1 Post by GregT » July 2nd, 2019, 7:05 pm

Didn't see this anywhere, sorry if it's a dupe.

Touriga Nacional seems like it may fit. But I don't see Marselan.

If the point is terroir, one might think that the grapes shouldn't matter so much. If the point is the grape variety or varieties, there will be some unhappy people.

Keeping in mind that until recently Syrah was blended in, I don't think it's the end of the world. But I haven't had a Marselan that seemed to be in the same neighborhood as Cab/Merlot.

https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/bord ... es-419730/

https://orlandowineblog.com/2019/06/29/ ... te-change/
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#2 Post by John Morris » July 2nd, 2019, 7:26 pm

Wow!

Isn't this a national outrage, allowing immigrant grapes -- Iberian ones! -- to take root?

It is certainly generous of Decanter to call castets and arinarnoa (a cross between tannat and cabernet) "lesser known."

And let's not forget the whites, where alvarinho, petit manseng and Liliorila, a cross of baroque ( [scratch.gif] ) and chardonnay.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#3 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 2nd, 2019, 7:30 pm

Not gonna settle for anything less than a $30k bottle of Tarney-Coulant.
https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/07 ... s-burgundy

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#4 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 2nd, 2019, 7:43 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 7:30 pm
Not gonna settle for anything less than a $30k bottle of Tarney-Coulant.
https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/07 ... s-burgundy
Funny, the article says no oak at all in the 2015, yet Leve’s CT note says 100% new oak. His 2016 vintage note also references 100% new oak. Now 2018 references 100% clay.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#5 Post by GregT » July 2nd, 2019, 8:33 pm

Hey! If you taste oak, there's oak, even if there's no oak.

That's a great article Keith. You want to taste pre-phylloxera Bordeaux? With vinification and aging in amphorae?

Exactly how far back do you want to go, pre-phylloxera?

Hmm. . . two thousand years?

Then there was this, which somehow fits entirely:

"I don't set the price, the market does," he told Wine-Searcher from a French hospital where he was being treated for a bee sting.

But, but, but . . . he put it on the market at that price. Was there that much pent-up demand for this stuff?
Is it offered en-premier?
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#6 Post by John Morris » July 2nd, 2019, 9:09 pm

Maybe the bee was pissed off about the price.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#7 Post by Wes Barton » July 2nd, 2019, 10:30 pm

John Morris wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 9:09 pm
Maybe the bee was pissed off about the price.
After being attracted by all the buzz.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#8 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 3rd, 2019, 5:47 am

There is no doubt that the bee is the hero of this story.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#9 Post by Mark Golodetz » July 3rd, 2019, 5:49 am

Much as we are enjoying scoffing at Liber Pater, he did get thousands of dollars of free PR from his absurd pricing. Once it hits the Robb Report, he may sell a few cases and get back his investment.

The article on Bordeaux grapes is far more important. Bordeaux used to be brilliant because the climate was marginal, the grapes just about ripe. With global warming, alcohol levels have increased, and much of the real character is disappearing.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#10 Post by James Billy » July 3rd, 2019, 6:04 am

Mark Golodetz wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 5:49 am
Much as we are enjoying scoffing at Liber Pater, he did get thousands of dollars of free PR from his absurd pricing. Once it hits the Robb Report, he may sell a few cases and get back his investment.

The article on Bordeaux grapes is far more important. Bordeaux used to be brilliant because the climate was marginal, the grapes just about ripe. With global warming, alcohol levels have increased, and much of the real character is disappearing.
And they often failed to ripen fully. Warm years were seen as the best years. Nowadays, ripeness is more of a given and other issues have come into play, but it's not black and white.

I'm sure Jeff will join the conversation and say that this is the golden era for Bordeaux.

IMHO the truth is often somewhere between the two extremes. YMMV.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#11 Post by GregT » July 3rd, 2019, 10:45 am

Technical knowledge is greater today than it ever was, and given that the point of wine making is to sell a product, I'd imagine that anyone who invested in property is going to produce what the market will buy and tweak it to increase sales. But that's been the case forever right?

Anyway, leaving aside for a moment the whole concept of finding different grapes due to climate change, I wonder how they selected those specific grapes, and what other grapes were considered. One might think that they'd only look at "French" grapes, but that doesn't seem to be the case. So how far afield did they go - did they look at grapes from Greece, Bulgaria, Armenia?

I do give them credit for one thing however, which is that Marselan is not a grape with any kind of a real pedigree, yet they were willing to include it. I'm not sure whether it will make great wine, but at least they were open to the idea that the only grapes worthy of consideration are those which have been around for at least two centuries.

To Mark's point though, I can't see how the wines will be anything like what they were, particularly the whites. Both Semillon and Sauv Blanc are very distinctive and the new grapes are very different.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#12 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 3rd, 2019, 12:17 pm

Chinon will become the new Bordeaux. It appears that this Yak was ahead of his time.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#13 Post by K John Joseph » July 3rd, 2019, 12:20 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 12:17 pm
Chinon will become the new Bordeaux. It appears that this Yak was ahead of his time.
Is that once the alcohol gets over 13% and the wines put on some body? Asking for a friend.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#14 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 3rd, 2019, 12:27 pm

I would re-frame the question to a statement:

Evidently your friend likes them plump and sweet, while I prefer them lithe and spicy with a bitter streak.

No judgment. I assume he’s from Tejas.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#15 Post by K John Joseph » July 3rd, 2019, 12:34 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 12:27 pm
I would re-frame the question to a statement:

Evidently your friend likes them plump and sweet, while I prefer them lithe and spicy with a bitter streak.

No judgment. I assume he’s from Tejas.
I was talking about wine.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#16 Post by Jeff Leve » July 3rd, 2019, 2:32 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 7:43 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 7:30 pm
Not gonna settle for anything less than a $30k bottle of Tarney-Coulant.
https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/07 ... s-burgundy
Funny, the article says no oak at all in the 2015, yet Leve’s CT note says 100% new oak. His 2016 vintage note also references 100% new oak. Now 2018 references 100% clay.
The 2018 is aging in 100% amphora. It’s the first time they moved to only amphora. I need to update their page.

Price aside, intellectually, it’s an interesting project. FWIW, the wines will sell. It only takes a bottle here and a bottle there.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#17 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 3rd, 2019, 3:24 pm

Jeff, what’s your take on this recent movement to use clay? You know I’m not a new oak guy, but I have minimal experience with the use of clay. I think Les Carmes used some in 2014.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#18 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » July 3rd, 2019, 5:11 pm

Jeff Leve wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 2:32 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 7:43 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 7:30 pm
Not gonna settle for anything less than a $30k bottle of Tarney-Coulant.
https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2019/07 ... s-burgundy
Funny, the article says no oak at all in the 2015, yet Leve’s CT note says 100% new oak. His 2016 vintage note also references 100% new oak. Now 2018 references 100% clay.
The 2018 is aging in 100% amphora. It’s the first time they moved to only amphora. I need to update their page.

Price aside, intellectually, it’s an interesting project. FWIW, the wines will sell. It only takes a bottle here and a bottle there.
Old amphorae or new amphorae? I hated over-amphoraed wine.
Cheers,
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#19 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 3rd, 2019, 5:14 pm

And, Paul, was the amphora baked in the kiln, toasted, broiled? Oh so many decisions.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#20 Post by Wes Barton » July 3rd, 2019, 6:36 pm

WINE GRAPES says the official story was Castets was found growing wild in the Gironde in 1870 and was propagated after that. It also noted that the grape was actually likely introduced from the Pyrenees, where it seems to be from. Either way, not a grape that was planted in Bordeaux in 1855.

Here's something interesting to peruse:
http://www.tenzingws.com/blog/2015/5/29 ... eaux-blend

Note the "Sirha" listing.

Regarding bringing in new grape varieties, it looks like some of those are aimed for lower tiered wines. Surely Marselan. It should be less troublesome to make something serviceable on a low budget. Disease resistance on the low-end is also worth some compromise. Bordeaux has a lot of connections with Spain, so that's a natural place to look for quality grapes that grow well in warmer climates and blend well with the traditional varieties.

Do any of you have any opinions on what other grapes could work well in high-end Bordeaux?
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#21 Post by GregT » July 3rd, 2019, 7:29 pm

That's kind of what I was getting at Wes. I probably have less knowledge than most here, but I would think you'd want something with plenty of tannins so as not to make a flabby wine. As far as acidity, I think you may be able to achieve that with a blend, so if you have an acidic grape and a tannic grape you can balance it out.

I think Touriga Nacional is a good choice, and probably some of the other Portuguese grapes, say something like Baga, which has tannins and acid. And from Spain, in the south they have Bobal, which is another tannic grape. Xinomavro is another one with tannins and acidity. Tempranillo from places like Toro or Ribera del Duero produces tannic and alcoholic wine, so I'm not sure that would be their bet, but it might work.

I know that they don't respect it, but they may want to take another look at Durif.

And maybe Sagrantino and Nero d'Avola and Aglianico from Italy.

But those are just off the top because they seem similar in some ways and grow near water. I don't have any clue as to whether they'd do well in a warmer Bordeaux.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#22 Post by R. Frankel » July 4th, 2019, 1:31 am

I like this openness, experimentation and flexibility. And since all these grapes are (likely) going to be low percentage blending grapes, it seems like their purpose is to make up for deficiencies in acid, body, tannin, etc. that the traditional grapes start to develop. Bordeaux has always been about the art of the blend.

Also I prefer the idea of blending grape varietals to achieve a desired profile rather than mixing in chemically engineered manufactured tannin powder, flavor crystals, oak chips or the like. We’ll get lots of those in the market, too.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#23 Post by Jim Brennan » July 4th, 2019, 5:47 am

John Morris wrote:
July 2nd, 2019, 7:26 pm
Wow!

Isn't this a national outrage, allowing immigrant grapes -- Iberian ones! -- to take root?

It is certainly generous of Decanter to call castets and arinarnoa (a cross between tannat and cabernet) "lesser known."

And let's not forget the whites, where alvarinho, petit manseng and Liliorila, a cross of baroque ( [scratch.gif] ) and chardonnay.
It would be interesting to know more about the selection process... offhand it seems like someone threw darts at a board.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#24 Post by Jim Brennan » July 4th, 2019, 5:56 am

James Billy wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 6:04 am
Mark Golodetz wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 5:49 am
Much as we are enjoying scoffing at Liber Pater, he did get thousands of dollars of free PR from his absurd pricing. Once it hits the Robb Report, he may sell a few cases and get back his investment.

The article on Bordeaux grapes is far more important. Bordeaux used to be brilliant because the climate was marginal, the grapes just about ripe. With global warming, alcohol levels have increased, and much of the real character is disappearing.
And they often failed to ripen fully. Warm years were seen as the best years. Nowadays, ripeness is more of a given and other issues have come into play, but it's not black and white.

I'm sure Jeff will join the conversation and say that this is the golden era for Bordeaux.

IMHO the truth is often somewhere between the two extremes. YMMV.
Well, the important point is that his tireless advocacy for Bordeaux, built on the back of parroting RP, got him the access he was looking for to be able to share these exciting, if possibly erroneous, tasting notes with us.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#25 Post by Mattstolz » July 4th, 2019, 6:59 am

I would definitely be interested in trying a Touriga Nacional from Bordeaux.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#26 Post by Mark Golodetz » July 4th, 2019, 7:02 am

Yes but perhaps we are the last generation who has access to pre global warming wines. Perhaps much as we dislike Jeff’s palate, and look for traditional wines, they may disappear. And perhaps, there will be no more traditionalists to argue with him, and his mind speak becomes the norm.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#27 Post by Mattstolz » July 4th, 2019, 2:08 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 7:02 am
Yes but perhaps we are the last generation who has access to pre global warming wines. Perhaps much as we dislike Jeff’s palate, and look for traditional wines, they may disappear. And perhaps, there will be no more traditionalists to argue with him, and his mind speak becomes the norm.
what I'm hearing you say is stock up for posterity.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#28 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 4th, 2019, 2:38 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 7:02 am
Yes but perhaps we are the last generation who has access to pre global warming wines. Perhaps much as we dislike Jeff’s palate, and look for traditional wines, they may disappear. And perhaps, there will be no more traditionalists to argue with him, and his mind speak becomes the norm.
Like Pre-Phylloxera wines!

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#29 Post by John Morris » July 4th, 2019, 3:01 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 6:36 pm
Regarding bringing in new grape varieties, it looks like some of those are aimed for lower tiered wines.
Yes, it's worth noting that the grapes are being approved for Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur, somewhat struggling categories, not Cru Bourgeois, let alone classified growth Bdx.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#30 Post by Mark Golodetz » July 4th, 2019, 3:11 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 2:08 pm
Mark Golodetz wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 7:02 am
Yes but perhaps we are the last generation who has access to pre global warming wines. Perhaps much as we dislike Jeff’s palate, and look for traditional wines, they may disappear. And perhaps, there will be no more traditionalists to argue with him, and his mind speak becomes the norm.
what I'm hearing you say is stock up for posterity.
Probably a little might be a good idea. We are seeing it to some small extent with traditional Saint Emilion. Magdelaine is fast disappearing although prices seem relatively stable. But this is a drinker’s play rather than an investment one.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#31 Post by GregT » July 4th, 2019, 11:21 pm

Yes but perhaps we are the last generation who has access to pre global warming wines
That this is even a possibility just leaves one speechless. What are we doing to ourselves?
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#32 Post by Mark Golodetz » July 16th, 2019, 2:30 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 5:49 am
Much as we are enjoying scoffing at Liber Pater, he did get thousands of dollars of free PR from his absurd pricing. Once it hits the Robb Report, he may sell a few cases and get back his investment.
Well it has hit the features page of Wine Searcher. Brilliant!
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#33 Post by Otto Forsberg » July 17th, 2019, 12:58 am

John Morris wrote:
July 4th, 2019, 3:01 pm
Wes Barton wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 6:36 pm
Regarding bringing in new grape varieties, it looks like some of those are aimed for lower tiered wines.
Yes, it's worth noting that the grapes are being approved for Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur, somewhat struggling categories, not Cru Bourgeois, let alone classified growth Bdx.
It would be hard to get approval for those Crus Bourgeois wines, since it's not an appellation at all, just a classification.

However, once the grapes are approved for use, nobody is preventing a Cru Bourgeois winery - or even a classified growth - using the varieties in a wine, as long as it is labeled Bordeaux Superieur!

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It's The End Of Bordeaux As We Know It

#34 Post by Joe Abruzzo » November 15th, 2019, 7:26 am

Borrowing a line from REM...

This may have already been discussed, but just heard a story on NPR this morning about the changes taking place in Bordeaux. While there have been stylistic changes made by Chateau in previous years, many modernizing wine making methods as a choice, climate change has brought a new set of challenges.

Traditionally only permitted grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère were used in red wines.

In July 2019, Bordeaux wineries authorized the use of four new red grapes - Marselan, Touriga Nacional, Castets, and Arinarnoa.

While I think it is being limited in use, it's a trend that has started and could eventually change the course of Bordeaux as we've known it. Are the wines of the 20th Century the last of what we'll know as "Bordeaux"?

With dwindling supplies from the last century, I'd expect to see significant increases in prices of these wines in the coming years (not just due to supply), but the rarity of these traditionally made Bordeaux wines - especially if the top growths start using some of the new grapes.

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Re: It's The End Of Bordeaux As We Know It

#35 Post by Todd F r e n c h » November 15th, 2019, 7:33 am

Well, I'm glad it's the one wine I've stocked up on, to some extent (in my meager cellar), as it is one of my favorites. Never heard of those grapes...
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Re: It's The End Of Bordeaux As We Know It

#36 Post by John Morris » November 15th, 2019, 7:52 am

FYI, there was an active thread on this in July: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=161878
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Re: It's The End Of Bordeaux As We Know It

#37 Post by larry schaffer » November 15th, 2019, 8:07 am

The only thing that makes this 'noteworthy' in all honesty is the old school 'rules and regulations' that AOCs, DOCG's, etc have had to live by for so long.

The bottom line is that the wine world is changing and everyone is having to change along with it. Now do you think most if many producers in Bordeaux will actually plant these varieties in the near future? My guess is no - but they can if they 'need to' to combat rising temperatures.

As far as the 'End of Bordeaux' goes, modern technology over the past 2 decades or so has radically changed the landscape of that area - as well as pretty much every region around the world. Modern science and technology have allowed winemakers to ensure that the majority of wines being produced today are 'sound' - something that was not the case a few decades ago. Note that I did not say 'good' . . .

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#38 Post by Todd F r e n c h » November 15th, 2019, 8:18 am

Merging
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Re: It's The End Of Bordeaux As We Know It

#39 Post by Michae1 P0wers » November 15th, 2019, 8:19 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
November 15th, 2019, 7:33 am
Well, I'm glad it's the one wine I've stocked up on, to some extent (in my meager cellar), as it is one of my favorites. Never heard of those grapes...
Touriga Nacional is one of the primary grapes used for table and fortified wine in Portugal. Most of the table wines I've had from Portugal are, if I recall correctly, primarily TN. Presumably it is better suited to warmer climates than are the traditional BDX varieties. Marselan is a cabernet sauvignon/grenache blend (of all things) and I think I've had versions or blends including that grape from the South of France. It's hard to imagine you could get much of either grape into the wines without fundamentally altering the character, but I suppose judicious use and proper blending might do just that. In the short run I wonder if producers are looking to use more Cabernet Franc and even Carmenere, which also seem better suited to warm weather, though in my opinion Cabernet Franc loses a lot of it's quality when it's too ripe. California versions generally do nothing for me and I have frequently been unable to tell what they are when tasted blind.

No one seems to be doing anything about climate change so producers will have to adjust for the short run. Sadly it will be the least of their problems, or ours, in the longer run.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#40 Post by GregT » November 15th, 2019, 11:29 am

The problem with Carmenere though is that it was taken out of Bordeaux after phylloxera because it didn't graft well and was disease prone. In Chile I think most of the vines are non-grafted. In any case, I've never had one I thought was excellent.

Touriga Nacional is a logical choice for a warming area because it does OK in extreme heat. It produces berries with a high skin to juice ratio and a lot of tannins. AFIK it's not related to Cab/Merlot in any way, but I can see it working and in fact, there are some producers in Portugal who are blending those grapes.

It's mostly blended with other grapes. Most of it was ripped out after phylloxera for the same reason many other grapes were - it didn't produce the yields people wanted. It's only been in the past few decades that it's come back. I think it's like the fifth or sixth most widely planted red in Portugal. At least a few years ago, if I recall correctly it trailed Tempranillo, which I found surprising, as well as Castelão, Touriga Franca and I don't remember what else.
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#41 Post by Neal.Mollen » November 15th, 2019, 12:45 pm

The NPR story said that in addition to adding grapes for SOME bdx wines, they are considering allowing active irrigation. Interesting times
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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#42 Post by Eric Ifune » November 16th, 2019, 3:11 pm

Touriga Nacional, while getting all the press, is a minority variety, even in the Douro. It actually originates in the Dao region which is much cooler. Cooler than even Bordeaux. And Touriga Nacional from the Dao can also be fantastic. It's not just a hot climate variety.

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Re: New grapes approved for Bordeaux

#43 Post by PFMay » November 17th, 2019, 4:14 am

Would the inclusion of Marselan among the new approved varieties be influenced by Lafite's new vineyard in China which is planted with 10% Marselan (Along with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Syrah and 10% Merlot
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