Wine Talk

Snooth User: JonDerry

Chianti and Super Tuscans

Original post by JonDerry, Feb 27, 2019.

Read up on Lindeman's thread, and thought this would be a good topic to discuss.

To Greg's point about blending Merlot and sometimes Cabernet in with Chianti blends, I hear that trend had been on the downswing, which is probably a good thing for Chianti proper, though there will be some really good "Super Tuscan's" made from the blending as well. Though I wonder what progress they've made in finding the Sangiovese to blend and other parts that are better as 100% Sangiovese.

Here's a quick summary of what a Super Tuscan is, taken from Wine Enthusiast magazine: "Some people define super Tuscan as a Tuscan blend made with Cabernet Sauvignon or other international varieties like Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Others define it as a wine that breaks ranks with Italy’s strict Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) quality regime. Others define it as any expensive wine from Tuscany."

Anyhow, back to Chianti, from what I understand, lot's of experimentation in the 90's and 00's, but things are getting more focused in Chianti now. It must be a frustrating place to be, having the historically more recognized Italian region being outshone by Piedmont, and not being as "in" as Sicily. 

I suppose, back-tracing a bit, that Sassicaia (one of the most famous Super Tuscans) taking Wine Spectator's wine of the year last year, it's only added more fuel to the fire back to blending and breaking with tradition! As we see in the old world all over, you have your traditionalists, your modernists, and everything inbetween.

 

Replies

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Reply by RandyFisher, Mar 6, 2019.

I have found that when drinking at social occasions where jammy reds are served that a spash of a higher acid white will make the wine much more drinkable. It doesn't change the taste so much as the mouth feel.

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 6, 2019.

Idiots?  Wow Zuf....;)

Randy I think you're exactly right.  I felt nearly offended at the 'idiot' declaration because I can usually sense Viognier in Syrah, but as you put it, more a mouthfeel than taste.

JD, I'll have to check out your inventory on Cellartracker :)  unless it's locked haha

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Reply by jackwerickson, Mar 7, 2019.

Zuf I think you enjoy being a contrarian, I agree that I cannot taste or pick out 1-5% added to a wine my question is why they do it, I know they add other wines for color,acidity, tannins, what I don’t understand is out of the blue some additions I.e. Cabernet and Sangiovese in Amarone and I know there not going to tell me. I do know I would never buy it, I am stuck with habits, not interested in changing just for the hell of it. I also want viognier in my Côte Rotie whether I can taste it or not, old habits.

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 7, 2019.

Jack, I agree.  I used to be an Amarone fanatic and I would not buy something from such a traditional place as Veneto, who for a long time have produced stunning wine from the three (Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara) usual grapes, if they started breaking tradition.  Now I guess traditions break all the time.  Look at religion, marriage, gender issues, etc.  I may have to accept that wine may be very different in ten years, but I hope not.

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Reply by zufrieden, Mar 7, 2019.

OK, let's be a bit more measured... if you say 1%, I am afraid you remain an amazing person, then, if not an idiot (perhaps that is a bit harsh, in hindsight).  If you feel (or imagine) you can taste 5% Viognier, well, who is anybody to judge?  But don't expect most of us to believe you.  So it just depends on what you expect.

Jack, I am not a contrarian, exactly, but I would like to test your commitment to certain ideas, certainly, and only in friendship. Personally, I don't believe any of you august individuals actually can make the distinctions I challenge you to make.  Imagination is a well-known human characteristic, but there is always the chance that you are super human... in your taste buds and olfactory bulbs, that is.

In the end, believe what you like. But I am an empiricist at best and rationalist at worst.  I get a bit techy when people make extraordinary claims; these need extraordinary proof.

:-)

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Reply by vin0vin0, Mar 8, 2019.

Zuf, re: small additions of other grapes to a blend, curious what you think about the inclusion of small amounts of petit verdot in things like Bordeaux and Napa cabs.  Everything I've read infers petit verdot makes a difference in taste and structure, even in small (2-10%) quantities.  I've always wanted to participate in a blending session just to see if I can really notice the subtle differences that the variation in components offer.

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Reply by jackwerickson, Mar 8, 2019.

Zuf I quote” Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir Dundee Hills, this wine has an excellent nose, there are aromatics of Creamsicle” being a fan of Drouhin and Havel several bottles of this wine I have never tasted Creamsicle “ now where did you get this? Please refer to your to your above statement “ I am an impiricist at best and rationalist ay worst. I get a bit techy when people make extrordinary claims; that need extraordinary proof” what you sensed in your review was what you tasted or sensed. I have tasted and drank several of the above never tasted what you did, but that make you wrong, I truly believe those are your honest taste and senses,but I have no empirical data to prove it. At my age I only taste sweet,sour and spicy. My question is not did someone taste or smell, but why did they add another wine,I.e. Cabernet and Sangiovese to Amarone as a friend I am only “I am only testing your commitment to certain ideas”

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Reply by jackwerickson, Mar 8, 2019.

Should have “doesn’t make you wrong” in the above

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Reply by LindeMen, Mar 10, 2019.

Hell, wine is a confusing topic for me, but enjoying the reading here nonetheless, and interesting about % content laws.  What happens if a domestic wine maker fudges on the percentage, do they go to jail, a fine, business closed, recalls?  

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Reply by vin0vin0, Mar 10, 2019.

Lindemen, after reading your post and then perusing the mighty Google I found this article a Napa winemaker who presumably bent the rules. Sounds like the feds take this kind of thing somewhat seriously although for some reason this winemaker has been able to stay out of jail.

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Reply by zufrieden, Mar 10, 2019.

Hey, everybody, I got you thinking... did I not?  Anyway, this virtual discussion may someday translate into a real one, and then we can get down to business.  The creamsicle thing is a worthy thing to bring up; but then, sometimes, you just grab what seems to meet the needs of the moment.

I don't want you all to get too upset at strong views, because actually my views are really quite gentle.  I just want to see if you really beleive what you hear.  Imagination is a big problem in the world, although we have no time to discuss this here.  Anyway, I like all the responses, so don't fret none.

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Reply by GregT, Mar 11, 2019.

Zuf - funny stuff!

The addition of Viognier to Syrah or other whites to reds usually has nothing to do with aromatics or taste. The whites are usually used help stabilize the color. The anthocyanins seem to be more stable in the presence of some of the whites - I don't think it's just any white. So oddly enough, you get a darker and more stable wine if you have a little bit of white in the blend.

BTW, I've done a few tastings where the entire point was to see if we could discern a difference in the Syrah if there's a little bit of Viognier - Cote Rotie vs Hermitage, and after 10-15 years, it's pretty much impossible to detect the dif in taste.

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Reply by jackwerickson, Mar 11, 2019.

Zuf not only am I not upset at strong views, I enjoy the banter, hell think of the time it took me to find “Creamsicle” as long as it remains civil it is what we need in today’s world. Gregt thank you for your explanation of why viognier is added, it was something with a million others I did not know. Do you have any reason of why they would Cabernet and Sangiovese to Amarone?  

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Reply by rckr1951, Mar 11, 2019.

Cabernet - Structure and body

Sangiovese - Red berry + red fruit florals + Italian dustiness

 

I've enjoyed reading all this as it happens...while I'm drinking the '15 Chianti's I have.

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 11, 2019.

Adding cab sav and/or sangiovese to Amarone is BULLSHIT!

I swear Viognier makes a Syrah somewhat lubricious and if it's more than 3%, I can detect it.  I'll put money on it!

 

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Reply by rckr1951, Mar 13, 2019.

DV - He didn't say they did - he just asked why they would, most everyone around here the 4 main grapes to Amarone are  Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara..

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 13, 2019.

I'm just being a jerk!

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Reply by GregT, Mar 14, 2019.

DV - you're on! Next time I see you, we're having some with and some without.

So here's one of many studies that doesn't really support the concept. There are of course, plenty of counter studies.

They added some white to Sangiovese in Tuscany and to various wines in Spain. It was always explained by the stabilization of the color, but who really knows why they did it in the first place. In the old days, they didn't need to add acidity because they picked pretty early. It wouldn't be for aromatics, because there isn't enough generally and most whites aren't as aromatic as Viognier. It's a nice field for someone who has a lot of time to research.

https://www.infowine.com/intranet/libretti/libretto8287-01-1.pdf

 

 

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 14, 2019.

I’d be in for that tasting as well. Have some 11’Guigal d’Ampuis Cote Rotie to bring, which is 93% Syrah, 7% Viognier, so DV better call this one!

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Reply by dvogler, Mar 14, 2019.

How about the 2015 Jaboulet La Chapelle?



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