Grapes and Blends
Card Set Information
Grapes and Blends
FWS Master Level
Name the 3 primary black grape varieties of Bordeaux
: 60% of black plantings
Cabernet Franc (aka Bouchet, Grosse-Vidure, Carmenet, Breton)
Was more Cabernet Franc than Cabernet Sauvignon planted in Bordeaux until the 1960s?
Is there more Merlot planted in Bordeaux than in any other wine region?
Name the 3 secondary black grape varieties of Bordeaux
Malbec (aka Auxerrois, Noir de Pressac, Malbeck, Cot)
Together, these varieties comprise 2% of black plantings
Name 3 "accessory" black grape varieties of Bordeaux
Cahors (aka Negrette?)
Bouchales (aka Prolongeau)
Name the 3 primary white grape varieties of Bordeaux?
Sauvignon (Blanc and Gris)
What is the predominant variety in Bordeaux white wine?
: Sauvignon with Semillon
: Semillon with Sauvignon
Name 5 secondary white grape varieties permitted in AOC Bordeaux
Merlot Blanc (Merlot X Folle Blanche)
Are the secondary white grape varieties encouraged in Bordeaux?
Tolerated but no new plantings allowed.
Must be less than 30% of the blend
Name 2 "accessory" white grape varieties in wines from Bordeaux
Chenin (aka Pineau de la Loire, Pineau d'Anjou)
: not authorized in regional Bordeaux AOCs; permitted in Cotes de Blaye until 2025
: not authorized in regional Bordeaux AOCs since 2004; permitted in Cotes de Blaye
The above varieties can be vin de table
Name 3 synonyms for Ugni Blanc
: in Italy, where it originated
St.-Emilion des Charentes
: in Gironde and Cognac
Muscadet Aigre ("sour Muscadet")
: in Girone
When were hybrids forbidden in Bordeaux?
Name the Bordeaux principal grape varieties in order of picking
: epoch 1 (reference grape)
: epoch 2 early
: epoch 2 late
: epoch 2 end
: epoch 2
: epoch 2
: epoch 3
: epoch 3 end
What AOC has Colombard as a principal variety?
Cotes de Blaye Blanc must be 60%-90% Colombard
Is the reputation of a vintage dependent on white, red, or both wines?
Describe the characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon
Thick-skinned (Intense color, Tannic, Resistant to rot)
Black fruit aromas (If ripe, blackcurrant, wild strawberries; if very ripe, mint, licorice, cedar)
Only in Bordeaux
: "Cold Chimney" (ashy) and floral (roses) aromas
Why might Cabernet Sauvignon not ripen?
If Unripe, herbaceous, green pepper (this is a fault)
Picked too early
Vines too vigorous
Planted on "heavy" soils
What does it take to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon?
* MILD WATER STRESS (produces fruit and floral aromas
Describe the characteristics of Merlot
Thinner-skinned than CS so lighter in color and softer tannins
Early maturing (first to come out of winter dormancy)
High sugar levels (= alcohol)
Red fruit aromas (if ripe, cherry, plum and with age, humus, truffle; if over-ripe, fig, stewed prune)
What do "Merlot" years or "Cabernet" years mean?
Refers to how successfully the grapes ripened in a given year.
What does "tight pollination" mean?
Pollination requires clear skys, light breezes, moderate temperatures.
The flowers will be pollinated in 5-8 days.
What is Coulure?
A condition resulting from cold, rainy, windy weather may prevent pollen from fully setting in the flower's pistil
Called "shot berry" (because grapes only achieve size of BB shot) or "shatter" in England.
What grapes are susceptible to Coulure?
Merlot, Malbec, Grenache, Muscat Ottonel.
: 98, 99, 01, 04, 06
: 96, 02 03 06, 08
What were the percent of red grapes grown in Bordeaux in 2009?
Describe the characteristics of Cabernet Franc
Tannic but more rustic ("cashmere" tannins) than Merlot or CS
Contributes a "savory" character
If unripe, grassy, "ice tea"; If ripe, mineral, metholated, raspberries, black pepper and with age flowery, leathery, tobacco
Describe challenges with Cabernet Franc
If overcropped, becomes "pissy"; color and character diluted
Veraison can be tricky -- irregular yields
Starts with an herbaceous character
Disappointing right after harvest; gains depth after several months
Describe the advantages of Cabernet Franc
Affinity for barrel aging
Gives freshness to Merlot
Grows well in sandy soil (at the base of the Saint-Emilion hill) and clay but prefers limestone
Why are most red Bordeaux wines blended?
CS is too tannic; requires Merlot for suppleness, balance
Merlot too flabby by itself; needs tannin from CS or CF
Left bank (Medoc, Graves) has gravel needed by CS
Right bank/Entre-deux Mers has clay for Merlot
Is climate change expected to render Merlot less dependable?
Name 3 wines that use a large proportion of Cabernet Franc planted
Chateau Cheval Blanc
: 55% (for web site for info about CF)
Chateau Trotte Vieille and Chateau Belle Assise
Describe the characteristics of Petit Verdot
High Quality Grape; if grown successfully and more widely it would be equal of CS or Merlot
Think if it as a "Super CS"... can make a good wine into a great wine
Difficult to ripen so planted in gravel soils (Medoc)
Needs lots of attention
Ripens 2 out of 10 years (so planted in very small quantities)
Why are Petit Verdot planings increasing?
* Warmer in Bordeux recently ("climate change")
* On Left Bank, CS obviates need for CF so PV replacing CF
Why is Malbec a disappearing variety?
Susceptible to coulure (lower yield due to poor fruit set)
Falls apart after 20 years (but can make very good wine in Cahors, Argentina)
Favored in the Bourg (in particular) and Blaye regions
Name a Chateaux that still uses Carmenere
Chateau Clerc Milon (fifth growth)
Describe the characteristics of Carmenere
Practically extinct (even smaller planting that PV or Malbec) -- a "folklore" grape
Similar to PV but even more disease-prone
What type of soil is best for growing white grapes?
Describe the characteristics of Sauvignon
The main variety in dry whites (~ 70%)
High sugar levels (= alcohol)
Aromas include if Ripe, boxwood (evergreen) and "broom" (shrubby weed); if Very Ripe, lemon, grapefruit
Flavors include tropical fruit (mango, passion fruit)
Describe challenges with Sauvignon
Unripe grape aromas include Herbaceous, vegetal aromas
Heavy and cold soils
Compare Sauvignon Gris (aka Sauvignon Rose) with Sauvignon Blanc
Less susceptible to rot and eutypiose (attacks vine's wood)
Aromas more fine
Describe the characteristics of Semillon
The main variety in sweet whites
Round, fleshy character that Sauvignon lacks
Less expressive than Sauvignon
Aromas (if Ripe, white peach, fresh apricot, lemon, orange and with age grilled, toasty, smokey)
Describe the characteristics of Muscadelle
Minority partner of the blend; contributes little to a wine's structure
For best quality it must be picked very ripd and at moderate yields
Muscat aromas (but not a member of the Muscat family)
Extraordinarily problematic (susceptable to rot, bee attacks, delicate berries must be hand harvested)
But... produces a full crop after a frost
What were the percent of white grapes grown in Bordeaux in 2009?
: 39% (was dominant before Phyloxera)
What is the percent of red vs white grapes planted in Bordeaux?