Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

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RichardFlack
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Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#1 Post by RichardFlack » April 29th, 2020, 3:42 pm

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?
Last edited by RichardFlack on April 30th, 2020, 6:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#2 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » April 29th, 2020, 3:45 pm

Myriad and rivers Marie seem to do well

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#3 Post by GregP » April 30th, 2020, 12:02 am

RichardFlack wrote:
April 29th, 2020, 3:42 pm
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?
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?
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#4 Post by Otto Forsberg » April 30th, 2020, 12:05 am

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

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#5 Post by Ethan Abraham » April 30th, 2020, 3:53 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 12:05 am
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?

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#6 Post by Howard Cooper » April 30th, 2020, 4:59 am

Mount Eden.
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#7 Post by Otto Forsberg » April 30th, 2020, 5:08 am

Ethan Abraham wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 3:53 am
Otto Forsberg wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 12:05 am
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?
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.

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#8 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » April 30th, 2020, 5:28 am

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

No confusion at all.
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#9 Post by Sean S y d n e y » April 30th, 2020, 5:55 am

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.
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#10 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » April 30th, 2020, 6:02 am

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 5:55 am
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.
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#11 Post by Otto Forsberg » April 30th, 2020, 6:05 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 5:28 am
He characterizes it as "Bordeaux type and Pinot Noir" in his post.

No confusion at all.
I was refering to the topic.

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#12 Post by Sean S y d n e y » April 30th, 2020, 6:06 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:02 am
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 5:55 am
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 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.
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#13 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » April 30th, 2020, 6:07 am

Otto,

Do you just read the headlines in the newspapers?
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#14 Post by Otto Forsberg » April 30th, 2020, 6:19 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:07 am
Otto,

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

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#15 Post by RichardFlack » April 30th, 2020, 6:51 am

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.

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#16 Post by Mattstolz » April 30th, 2020, 6:55 am

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.

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#17 Post by Ian S » April 30th, 2020, 7:06 am

RichardFlack wrote:
April 29th, 2020, 3:42 pm
... is it a little, er, paradoxical, that a winery should produce both Bordeaux type wines (Cab Sauv, Merlot, Meritage...) and Pinot Noir.... it would seem to me that the wines have a different aesthetic.
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.
Otto Forsberg wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:19 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:07 am
Otto,

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
Chill dude!

(Is that an appropriate use of slang?)
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#18 Post by Sean S y d n e y » April 30th, 2020, 7:17 am

RichardFlack wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:51 am
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.
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!
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#19 Post by RichardFlack » April 30th, 2020, 7:19 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:19 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:07 am
Otto,

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
Or Cheddar, or Brie....

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

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#20 Post by Matthew King » April 30th, 2020, 7:34 am

Add Ceritas to list of quality wineries that do pinot and cab well. Different grapes, same aesthetic.
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#21 Post by M. Dildine » April 30th, 2020, 7:46 am

How about Scherrer? Cab, Pinot, Syrah PLUS Zinfandel. A hat trick + 1!
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#22 Post by Ethan Abraham » April 30th, 2020, 8:00 am

Arnot Roberts makes pretty much everything too...Cabernet Pinot, chard, syrah, Gamay, Riesling/sylvaner, zin, trousseau, ribolla gailla. I guess no white bordeaux or Rhone grape!

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#23 Post by dave kammerer » April 30th, 2020, 12:59 pm

Dehlinger and Scherrer both make outstanding pinot noir and cabernet bottlings and have for a long time.

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy wines

#24 Post by Howard Cooper » April 30th, 2020, 1:38 pm

RichardFlack wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 7:19 am
Otto Forsberg wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:19 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:07 am
Otto,

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
Or Cheddar, or Brie....

The title could have been clearer, I’ve edited it. Now back to the topic...
Richard, everything you wrote was clear. No need to apologize
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#25 Post by GregT » April 30th, 2020, 7:08 pm

RichardFlack wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:51 am
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.
But if you look at the better producers there, they set their vines at different levels up the mountains. That makes very good sense. The ones who don't are the ones I wonder about, but you get different cooling and different UVs as you climb up those hills.

I don't think it's strange at all. When you have a lot to work with, why not use it? And I don't think you need a different aesthetic do do different wines. People have been doing whites and reds for a long time, and some rosés as well.
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#26 Post by Eric Ifune » May 1st, 2020, 3:23 pm

The greatest Pinot Noir in Californian history is said to be the 1946 Beaulieu grown at BV vineyard #1 in the heart of the Napa Valley. Unfortunately I've never had it. Vineyard was ripped out a few years later as demand for Cabernet increased.
I think the main obstacle is that they have very different cellaring techniques. A winemaker would have to be good at both.

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#27 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 1st, 2020, 3:40 pm

I dispute the notion of "Bordeaux style" and "Burgundy style." They are regions, and there are wines are various styles produced in both.

As for a winemaker trying her/his hand at making wines from different varieties: well, that's done all the time, often times with success. I don't perceive the cognitive dissonance, generally.
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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#28 Post by Scott Spears » May 2nd, 2020, 5:51 am

I would second Rivers-Marie and Mount Eden, and I would add Sojourn. All three make lovely, silky pinot noir and powerful, complex cabernet sauvignon.

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#29 Post by Ethan Abraham » May 2nd, 2020, 6:48 am

So besides California and British Columbia, are there any regions where, say, Cabernet and pinot grow within 10-20 miles of each other (and not just as a curiosity)? I guess in the US you have some of this in the finger lakes. Anywhere in Europe?

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Re: Producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy styled wines

#30 Post by John Davis » May 2nd, 2020, 7:41 am

Morlet. They do everything very well. They aren't cheap but I find them to be of consistently high quality and they are also good people.
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