What is Sauvignon Blanc?
It is a white wine grape variety. It's "home" is in the Loire Valley, but it is one of the French grapes, like Chardonnay, that has become a widely planted and widely consumed "international" grape variety. As many consumers decided that Chardonnay was too "oaky and buttery", many of them moved to Sauvignon Blanc, which is typically crisper, more fruit forward, and more herbaceous.
They are both made 100% from Nebbiolo grown in the Langhe. But Barolo and Barbaresco are clearly not the same wine.
What's the difference?
The easy answer is the legal one: Barolo and Barbaresco are two different DOCs. They are located in slightly different parts of the Langhe (see the map above).
There are slightly different rules that they have to follow -- for example Barolos have to be aged for 38 months, of which at least 18 months are in barrel, while Barbaresco only requires 26 months, of which 9 must be in barrel. Barolos have to hit 13% alcohol and Barbarescos only 12.5%.
I guess that sort of thing is great to know for your WSET exam, but it doesn't get you into the heart and soul of how these wines are distinct. Hopefully this list of five key differences will help you do that:
It works out beautifully when the marketplace determines that X = Good, and suddenly the vintners can make and sell more wine for a higher price.
The great modern day example is Sancerre. As any American wine merchant will tell you, any bottle that says "Sancerre" on it will sell very easily. It is a brand, and a very successful one. But are there downsides?
For some time now, we've had a goal of shooting videos to educate and entertain wine enthusiasts near and far. Though we are now out of January, the month when all resolutions typically begin and end, we found a way to persevere and are proud to share our inaugural effort with you today!
As it turns out, even amongst our multi-talented staff there was no one who happened to moonlight as a professional cinematographer...so apologies if our first release is less than Oscar worthy. It can only get better from here, right?
So, without further ado, please press play (if the video hasn't started already)!
-Your Friends at Flatiron Wines
P.S. We'd love your feedback so feel free to leave a comment below or at our Flatiron Wines YouTube Channel.
Tuesday, November 17
I had to great fortune to be invited back to Becky and Russell’s house in Bouilland for another gala luncheon and a vertical tasting of Grivot Richebourg. Thanks to a generous Burgundy collector we able to taste every single vintage of Richebourg that Etienne Grivot has made. We had 20+ vintages on the table that day.
MONDAY, November 16
I got up, made coffee, bought a croissant at the bakery across the street and I walked across Beaune. A gray morning, the clouds were low in the sky. Going to taste with the super talented Benjamin Leroux and two representatives of his NY importer. Ben was the winemaker at the great Pommard producer Comte Armand. Pascal Marchand was the regisseur, Ben was his assistant and then took over at the domaine. For several years Benjamin worked at Comte Armand in addition to running his micro-negociant. Last year he resigned from Comte Armand to work full time at his own business. He rents a fairly large winemaking facility not far from Bichot, Champy, Camille Giroud, Domaine des Croix, all in the center of Beaune.