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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