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Thursday, August 19, 2010

On 8:14 PM by The Bloggers @ 67 Wine   No comments
Hi guys,
This is a quick inside look at our internal Education system at 67 wine and spirits. We hold these classes once per week. These are my notes for this week!


Staff Education Notes:
Paul Bressler Instructor
Wednesday 8/18/10

Reading: World Atlas of Wine 6th Edition, Beazley, Johnson, Robinson
Pages 26-27 Terroir
Pages 66-67 Gevery-Chambertin

Terroir is derived from the following aspects of a vineyard or plot of land:
Geology
Geography
Climate
Orientation
Altitude

Geology is the soil and soil types.
Examples of topsoil include central valley of California which is extremely fertile and where most of the jug wines from California come from. This supremely fertile land makes less “quality” wine. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Chateaunef De Pape, which has no topsoil in most location (just galets- football sized rocks). There are some others, Clay- very water retentive. Sand is very expedient at drainage.
Subsoil is the next layer down, and includes Sedimentary limestone and volcanic soil- these are both great for wine.

Geography are all the things that are affected by latitude and longitude. These include sunlight; temperature, wine, and that sort of thing are all affected. One other factor is the proximity or location on a mountain, a valley or plain. An example provided was the valleys that are open to water at one end hold the moderating influence from the body of water until the end of the region.

Climate is temperature, rainfall and that sort of thing.
Growing temperature during the season is really important. Hot wine areas have shorter growing seasons, and cooler growing regions have longer seasons, but risk rain or hail at the end. The Diurnal difference is really important for wine grapes (diurnal is the difference in temperature from day to night!). Rainfall is good- most wine grapes need 20-30 inches of rain a year, but not at the end of the growing season- or during harvest! Fog has an effect as well- mostly a massive cooling, and sun blocking effect- this works well in the Caneros region in California where they can grow some great pinot noir!

 Orientation is the facing of the exact land the vines are on. This affects vine training, for instance in vineyards with south facing slopes the vines need more foliage, where if the vines are on a north facing slope (rare, but several parcels of Gigondas from Domaine Les Pallieres are facing this way to preserve freshness in a part of the Rhone that can create a lot of stewed fruits and overripe wine!) you need less foliage to allow the grapes exposure to the sun to ripen!

Finally altitude affects vineyards in several ways as well. Generally speaking there is a direct temperature difference with height – 5 degrees cooler for every 1000 feet up! Even a couple of feet up or down a slope can make a degree or two change. This is one reason why vineyards on steep slopes are harvested by hand, often in several passes over the course of a week or two. There is a larger diurnal temperature difference as well the higher up a slope you get, the cooler the nights become. Also included in this is the surrounding area- if you are on a slope that leads to a valley, the deeper the valley is the cooler the slope will become, as it takes longer to heat up and longer to cool down as well (there is more air to affect).


There was a section on the technique of vineyard mapping. There are maps for quality of grapes, yield of grapes, plant available water, electro-magnetic maps. There are all kinds of reasons to use these- the first growths use them to decide what parcels go into the second wines.

Gevery Chambertin

This is quite far north in the Burgundy region, and consists of almost all red wine producing areas. At the south end you have Chambolle Musigny which contains some of the most famous grand cru vineyards in the whole of Burgundy- Musigny on the south west end, and Bonnes Mares at the North West end of the Chambolle Musigny appellation.  Musigny grand cru are known for being savory and perfumed, with umami flavors. Bonnes Mares have a little more finesse, with more fruit and pretty rather then savory notes.
Morey St. Denis is a large area, and one that also produces a few whites. From the top of the slope on the North West side of the vineyard the wines are bigger, from the middle the wines are lighter.
Gevery Chambertin is the other major growing area. This appellation consists of a lot of contiguous grand cru vineyards. The World Atlas of Wine says basically nothing about this area in terms of the character of the wines produced here. This lead our instructor Paul to posit that the area varies so much, both by producer and by where exactly the site is.

Tasting:
Chambolle Musigny Sigaut 2006:
Nice Wine! Color is pinkish red and fades to clear at the edges of the glass.
This wine has scents of earth, flowers, mushrooms and cherries that combine nicely and provide a compelling nose.  The taste is light, elegant and has great fruit on the palate with a nice acid level that is not to high or bright.

Big muscled wine. The wine is dark red in color giving us our first clue that this is more ‘intense’ wine. The nose of this wine is a little closed, but consisted of dark raspberries, earth and a little forest. Acidic and edgy tasting, you can tell this wine has some evolving to do . . . it will change into something great after another two years or so.

Thanks for reading,
Ben
8/19/10

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