Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

Sorry if this is a silly question, but… is it a little, er, paradoxical, that a winery should produce both Bordeaux type wines (Cab Sauv, Merlot, Meritage…) and Pinot Noir. Aside from conditions suiting the different grapes, it would seem to me that the wines have a different aesthetic. Perhaps this is a phenomenon limited to mid level wineries or new ones trying to see what works?

Myriad and rivers Marie seem to do well

Used to think same way. Then one day, as I was tasting through Pride barrels with Bob Foley he directed me to a couple of barrels in some far away corner of the cave. Poured some in my glass. I was stunned, to say the least. One of the best Pinot Noirs I have tasted at that point, and still one of the best in my memory since. He made it for a Spring Mountain neighbor, School House, just a few barrels every year. Incredible in every way, great balance, proper Pinot color, used barrels, etc.

Why do you feel its different for wine makers when chefs can easily switch cuisines/concepts, with great results?

I found this question very confusing, because Bordeaux and Burgundy aren’t situated particularly close to each other.

I think OP is talking more about California, where great Pinot and great cab can grow a few miles apart.

Not completely unknown in Europe though. I think Uli Stein makes both Pinot and Cabernet/Merlot. Are there other German wineries that do both? Anywhere else in Europe?

Mount Eden.

I know. My point was just that calling them “Burgundy” and “Bordeaux” would be like an Aussie discussing how to make great Napa Cab and Oregon Pinot from two vineyards next to each other.

He characterizes it as “Bordeaux type and Pinot Noir” in his post.

No confusion at all.

Unless there’s an established record of quality from a winery - Mount Eden above is a good example - I admit that seeing a “throw different grapes against the wall and seeing what sticks/sells” is a red flag for me too and it’s rare that a producer has both the skill and the terroir to pull it off.

David Ramey is an example of someone who does everything very well.

I was refering to the topic.

I see he gets fruit from many different sources - does he own any of the vineyards or does he have buying agreements?

I’ve never had any of his wines, but the Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay is being released here this month so I may pick that up.


Do you just read the headlines in the newspapers?

No. I also get irritated if the headlines are inaccurate. [snort.gif]

You know people who cringe when people talk about Champagne when they mean any kind of sparkling wine? I’m one of those people

I’ve changed the headline to clarify.

I don’t know California, my question is rooted in a trip to the Okanagan last fall, and then recently placing some orders from there. Many wineries offering Cabs, Syrah, and Pinot. So I’m looking forward to see how they develop.

So I was wondering about the ‘artistic / creative’ dimension of winemaking versus the basics of the fruit, driven by soil and climate. Hard to tell from a visit if one or other wine being more convincing than the others is due to vintage or fruit versus the winemaker. I thought California might offer insight and hence my interest in Berserkers’ views.

it definitely works in the new world sometimes, where the microclimates that can be fairly close to each other can be pretty different. it definitely would be the test of how adaptable a winemaker is! but I can think of a few good examples, which were already listed above.

Jack of all trades = Master of none. Sourcing grapes from different vineyards is possible so great fruit for both Bordeaux style and Pinot Noir wines could be made under the same brand name. In that instance, different winemakers would make sense.

Chill dude!

(Is that an appropriate use of slang?)

Funny, I was literally thinking about BC when writing my first reply. Being generous, it seems like people are trying to figure out what works best out there which may take some time. To be fair, it is a relatively new winemaking region. Be sure to post notes when you taste them!

Or Cheddar, or Brie…

The title could have been clearer, I’ve edited it. Now back to the topic…

Add Ceritas to list of quality wineries that do pinot and cab well. Different grapes, same aesthetic.