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Pinot Noirs and Cabernet Sauvignons: Wines

发表于 2-11-2021 09:19:30 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Lettie Teague (a white woman), A Good Cab Is Hard to Find for Under $25; Cabernet Sauvignon grapes produce both lofty and lousy wines. Wall Street Journal, Jan 30m 2021 (in the Off Duty section published every Saturday, for people to unwind).
https://www.wsj.com/articles/whe ... d-under-11611861952


(a) first two paragraphs: "TWO YEARS AGO I wrote a column describing my search for good Pinot Noirs under $20 a bottle. It wasn't easy: Pinot Noir is a notoriously fickle grape, requiring just the right conditions to thrive, and the wines are both more difficult and more expensive to produce. Cabernet Sauvignon is a much easier, hardier grape. And yet, as I discovered in reporting this column, finding good, reasonably priced Cabernet can be just as hard, perhaps even harder.

"Native to Bordeaux [southwest of Paris], France, Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most popular and most commonly planted grapes. It's found just about anywhere winemakers are looking to make their mark—or lots of money—and produces both lofty and lousy wines. The former are made from grapes grown in great sites and carefully tended vineyards, fermented and aged in expensive French oak. The latter come from high-yielding vineyards, machine-harvested grapes fermented with oak chips [in wine; as opposed to wine aging in oak barrel] and worse.

(b) the last five paragraphs: "The cool climate of Margaret River region of Western Australia helped keep down the alcohol level of my other two favorite Cabernets, according to their winemakers: the 2018 Ringbolt Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon ($17) and 2017 Vasse Felix Margaret River Filius Cabernet Sauvignon ($20), 14% and 14.1% alcohol respectively.

"Heather Fraser, winemaker at Ringbolt, noted that her wines retain their acidity and tannin structure with very little intervention. She also uses very little new oak (6% for the 2018 vintage). As a result the Ringbolt Cabernet is juicy and fresh, bursting with red and dark fruit.

"The 2017 Vasse Felix Filius is a bit more restrained, more structured and tannic, but equally good. 'We don't use heavy new oak so as not to mask the purity of our fine Cabernet fruit. Our wine is aged in older oak for 12-15 months to ensure the wine breathes and tannins moderate,' said Vasse Felix winemaker Virginia Willcock. 'All our Cabernet is organically grown and made with minimal intervention.'

"Conditions in Margaret River are clearly suited to Cabernet, and the grape's low cost of production means good wines can be sold for reasonable prices. If only there were more Margaret River Cabernets in the US market, my search might have been easier, but they are still fairly scarce stateside. Only 1,000 cases of that 2018 Ringbolt Cabernet were sent to the US. 'Hopefully the United States is a growing market for us,' Ms Fraser wrote.

"After tasting 17 Cabernets, of which only five or six were wines I'd want to drink again, I think that while Cabernet may be one of the world's greatest grapes, it’s not necessarily always treated as such.

My comment:
(i) I know nothing about wine, and do not drink alcohol. For years, I have been stumped by meaning of grapes/wines listed in (b) and (c). So this is an opportunity for me to explore.
(ii) There is no need to read the rest of this WSK article, which was about the searching.
(b) pinot noir
(introduction: "is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black. The word pine alludes to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit. * * * Pinot noir is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine, * * * Pinot noir's home is France's Burgundy region [east of Paris]")
(i) Cabernet Sauvignon
(section 1 History and origins: "The word 'Sauvignon' is believed to be derived from the French sauvage meaning 'wild' and to refer to the grape being a wild Vitis vinifera vine native to France [there is no citation for this sentence, and I can not find any other source in the Web that says so]. * * * The grape's true origins were discovered in 1996 with the use of DNA typing at the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, by a team led by Dr Carole Meredith. The DNA evidence determined that Cabernet Sauvignon was the offspring of Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc and was most likely a chance crossing [between the two varieties] that occurred in the 17th century")
(ii) cabernet sauvignon
(iii) Like pinot noir, Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc are varieties of the same species: Vitis vinifera.
(iv) It is fair to say that etymology of cabernet is unclear, hence its meaning.

(d) French-English dictionary:
* pinot (noun masculine; [from] pin +‎ -ot): "pinot [This English word comes from French, so this definition is meaningless]"
   ^ pin (noun masculine, from Latin noun feminine pīnus pine): "pine"
   ^ The English noun pin came from Old English pinn, and noun pine from Latin pīnus.
   ^ Latin phonology and orthography
   ("now long vowels are sometimes written with a macron [from Ancient Greek adjective masculine makrós long] in modern editions (ā) * * * Each vowel letter (with the possible exception of y) represents at least two phonemes. a can represent either short /a/ or long /aː/, e represents either /e/ or /eː/, etc")  
   ^ -ot (suffix): "a diminutive indicator for certain words, functioning similarly to the more common -et [in both Modern French and Modern English, the latter from French; Modern English nouns islet and baronet are borrowed from French of the same spellings]. Used for some names: * * * ‎Charles + ‎-ot‎Charlot"
   ^ Charles
   ("It is from the French form Charles of a Germanic name Karl; section 1 Etymology; section 4 Regional forms of the name: French[:] Charles  Charlot [whose English counterpart is Charlie])
   ^ The female form of Charlot is Charlotte.  
   ^ -otte (suffix): "female equivalent of -ot; forming feminine nouns and adjectives, chiefly with diminutive effect"
* naturaliste (noun masculine): "naturalist"
* géographe (noun masculine or feminine): "geographer"

(e) Margaret River, Western Australia
(a town "located in the valley of the eponymous Margaret River, 277 kilometres (172 mi) south of Perth, the state [Western Australia]capital")

It does not matter whether Margaret River Region refers to the town or the river, because both wineries are on the coast -- presumably it is too hot to inhabit further inland.

(f) Ringbolt Margaret River
https://www.ringbolt.com  (first sectional heading is "About": "As treacherous as it is beautiful, Western Australia's rugged southwest coastline is littered with shipwrecks – the wreck of the Ringbolt being one of them. Sunk in the late 1800s in what is now known as Ringbolt Bay, located on the southern tip of the Margaret River wine region, adjacent to Cape Leeuwin.  It is at Ringbolt Bay where the Southern and Indian Oceans merge and their invigorating waters lap at the edge of the Margaret River wine region")

Ringbolt Bay is a bay 25-mile air distance south of Margaret River, Western Australia.

(g) Vasse Felix (estate) bills itself as Margaret River's Founding Winery ("established 1967" and based in Cowaramup, Western Australia -- just 5-mile air distance north of Margaret River, Western Australia).
(i) About Us. Casse Felix, undated
(sectional heading: "The Story of the Name"/ "Paul Holmes à Court ]that is his name] represents the second generation of the Family who have owned and operated Vasse Felix since 1987."/ a photo caption: "Virginia Willcock Chief Winemaker")
(ii) The ship names are found in (d), the French dictionary.
(iii) Latin-English dictionary:
* fēlīx (adjective masculine, feminine or neuter): "happy, lucky, blessed"
* filius (noun masculine): "son"


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