I have found, in my admittedly limited experience, that wines made with diverse blends of grapes (5+ varietals) tend to be the ones that have the greatest complexity of flavour. It's not the whole deal of course - good viticulture and winemaking are obviously also essential - but it does seems to be a significant contributory factor.
Mark Lipton wrote:I don't think that many fans of Burgundy would agree with that observation, since both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay seem to reach great heights of complexity as single varieties. Riesling, Syrah and Mourvedre also become quite complex on their own.
David Creighton wrote:have to disagree with steve too! complexity is not achieved by the winemaker either by fermentation, blending, oak aging - which usually overcomes complexity - or aging. complexity along with all qualitative aspects comes from the vineyard which is planted to a particualr variety in a particular climate on a particular soil. the winemaker like god ? keeps bad things from happening to good people(grapes).
i guess i regard this theory as an apology for new world wines - wines nearly always grown in too warm areas. NZ is an exception - and they are mostly single variety wines. if for some reason you like warm climate wines - can't imagine it myself - then its true that to get any complexity, you need to blend. but why not just grow grapes where they should be grown?
Bottom line is that it's always been the individual producer's name that is the best indicator of quality. AOC regulations really haven't changed that.
You're also correct that AOC regulations never stopped producers from making great wine.
Paul Winalski wrote:I haven't seen any French producers follow up on this with Vin de Table wines made outside the AOC regime. Perhaps the law doesn't allow it? .
Chianti's a very interesting case study. Traditionally it was a blend of several grape varieties, with sangiovese as the backbone. I suspect that the blending tradition was mainly there to guard against total crop failure and to deal with the vagaries of climate and disease from year to year
Dale Williams wrote:Paul Winalski wrote:I haven't seen any French producers follow up on this with Vin de Table wines made outside the AOC regime. Perhaps the law doesn't allow it? .
One occasionally sees Vin de Table wines that are produced inside AOC regions, but don't qualify for some reason (including but not exclusively varieties used). I think one used to not be able to put a vintage, but that changed maybe? I always think (maybe incorrectly) that the Vin de Pays system was partially introduced to address this - so you have things like the red wines from within Muscadet - see Pepiere's "Cepage Cabernet" (VdP du Jardin de la France)
Paul Winalski wrote:Then some of the more enterprising of the great producers of the region, said, "regulations be damned--it's the right thing to do so I'm doing it anyway." The regulators said, "Ah, but you won't be allowed to call it Chianti." "Fine," said the producer, "I'll just call it Vino da Tavola, then." And so the Super-Tuscan wines were born. Their commercial success eventually shamed the regulators into changing the DOCG regulations.
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