TN fun: what variety is this?

I bet you are right.

I just want to thank the original poster for using variety, instead of varietal, in his subject line. [cheers.gif]


93 points from Wine Spectator.

Walt’s tasting note: Rose petal, red fruit/raspberry, cola, soil/tobacco, oak & minerals.

Sounds more like a Pinot, esp a RRV Pinot, than WS’s note. Wonder which one is closer to reality.

I’d bet not…why would any PN producer add syrah these days, in this market? They could have used Mariafeld (clone 23) tho, which has the reputation of being the PN clone that comes the closest to syrah. And, 2017 had that nasty heat wave, which could easily encourage WS’s version



adjective: varietal

(of a wine or grape) made from or belonging to a single specified variety of grape.
relating to, characteristic of, or forming a variety.
“varietal names”

noun: varietal; plural noun: varietals

a varietal wine or grape.


Which is all good by me, I get bothered by someone saying something they did was funner than something else. Although, converting adjectives to nouns is pretty fun, just not the funnest.

Haha…I absolutely KNEW someone was going to point that out, Anton. I was corrected (here, I think) when I asserted that using, “varietal” when describing a single type of grape was incorrect, as it was only supposed to be used as a noun. As soon as I posted the high five above, it was only a matter of time.

LOL, if we’re going down that rabbit hole…
There appear to be a variety of ways in which the word is used.
I would never say there are a varietal of ways in which it is used.

Does anybody talk or write about varietals of apples, peaches, oranges, etc.?

The thing with being bothered about variety vs varietal is they aren’t either one. They’re cultivars (the variety is Vitus Vinifera).

No one uses varietal for apples/etc because varietal became a noun (from an Adj.) from varietal wine. And hey…if we aren’t allowed to turn adjectives into nouns willy nilly, wouldn’t we still be in the stone age?

Eric, thank you for gifting us with that explanation.

If adjectives can become nouns and nouns can become verbs, when someone gifts me a bottle of Cabernet, have I been varietaled? Cultivared?

So, cultivarieties or cultivarietals? I’m so confused.

Vitis vinifera is the species, not the variety. “Variety” is used as a synonym for cultivars in some settings, but even in nomenclature systems that don’t use it as a synonym for cultivar it always seems to be a taxon below species.

Huh, can’t remember where I ‘learned’ the above, but you’re right…thanks.

Is that a feature or a bug?

I like both varieties [<-- N.B., I’m trying to steer clear of the grammar police], I don’t want either to taste like the other.

My comment did clone 23 a disservice…it only tastes like syrah when it’s grown in a place that’s too warm for it’s liking. If you do, it becomes darker, more dense…more syrah. If it’s cool enough, it can be an excellent very pinot like wine. I worked with 23 for a bit from a Sonoma Coast vineyard (actually on the coast, not the inland areas). My first year working with it was 2011 (along with clones 2A, 9 & Pommard…on their own roots). 2011 being an epic cold vintage, I picked in mid october, prior to the rains…the fruit was not quite 21 brix. The latter three clones all had interesting things to offer, tho all on the lean side. The 23 otoh seemed like it was picked at what I’d consider to be mid-ripe red fruited flavors. Together, they made a quite interesting wine that would have been a lot less interesting without the 23. If 23 was syrah like even in that year, it would have completely clobbered the other three clones and I would have had to keep it out of the blend. Later I discovered it’s true CA colors and moved on.

I guess it’s not surprising that clone 23 came from Switzerland, not Burgundy (I’m assuming that Switzerland colder than Burgundy, it has when I’ve been there but…).

With all the regions looking for “climate change friendly” varieties/clones…looks like clone 23 won’t make that list.

Side note on “completely clobbered”: My first year making pinot, I got fruit from Sebastopol (a very pinot like wine), and from Gaps Crown (petaluma gap, a big bruiser wine). I did some trials, with a few friends, to see what a blend of the two would be like. 50/50% tassted the same as 100% Gaps Crown. 25% GC & 75% Sebastopol was all GC again. So was 10% GC & 90% Sebastopol (tho it was a bit more dilute, no Sebastopol character survived). It was only when I got to 5% GC that some Sebastopol character emerged…tho it was still was heavy handed on GC. And it’s not like the Sebastopol wine was thin/dilute/etc…in fact it became one of my favorite Pinots, and was why I continued this sometimes insane path :slight_smile:. Anyways, I abandoned the blending idea, but had a better appreciation of the extreme differences that Pinot can show.

Thanks for the explanation.

I’m in a brown-bag group where people bring whatever they like. Over the years there, I’ve had more than my share of pinots there that were mistaken for syrahs (all big, dark wines), but I have no idea of the clones.

I would have said a red blend made predominantly from Cabernet and Syrah. Fruit profile and pencil shavings leads me toward a CS, but the olive and herbs tells me Syrah.