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Is Pinot Noir Calif's 'Flagship' Wine?


Rebel Rose
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I saw a comment recently that pinot noir is California's 'flagship' wine.

I have always thought of pinot noir as a relative newcomer. Certainly a phenomenon, but most of the people and media I talk to in Paso Robles are coming here for the zinfandels and Rhones.

What does the future hold?

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Mary Baker

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Any one of these wines will make the taster a believer not only in Zinfandel, but also in the idea that it is at its best when blended with some Mourvèdre and Syrah, which give it a nobility and complexity that the grape doesn't exhibit in a 100 percent varietal wine.

What do think of this statement? If indeed, anyone thinks of zinfandel at all anymore . . . :sad:

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Mary Baker

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Manzanita Creek makes several wonderful Zinfandels that need no improvement by blending.

I agree with GordonCooks that Cabernet Sauvignon is probably California's flagship wine. I've always felt that the best Pinots come from Oregon's Willamette Valley, from a Benton Lane to a higher-end lable like Domaine Drouhin.

Good wine is a necessity of life for me. --Thomas Jefferson

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That's like asking what is flagship wine of France. Both places are too big, with too many regions to put a tag like that on them. Perhaps the question should be: what's the flagship wine, by county?

With Zinfandel being the most unique wine to California, I'm still disappointed how little play it seems to get.

Eaglepoint Ranch-Mendocino County

"Behind every bottle of wine there's someone driving a tractor!"

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I think that Zin is the California "official wine", Pinot Noir is probably what is most notable in terms of increase in planting and new wines (the Sideways effect??), but Cabernet and Chardonney are still the flagship wines. Even the best Pinot Noirs do not go for the price or have the cache that the best Cabernets have.

Edited by dinwiddie (log)
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You know, it was Cabernets and Chardonnays that slew the great French beast, giving them an leg up on "Flagship" status. As been said, Zin is California's truly unique wine (all these Primitivo-come-latelies be damned). Pinot Noir really is indisputably Oregon's flagship wine already. And -- though I am probably in the minority in thinking this -- I'm pretty sure California Pinot Noir sucked at least until the mid-90s, especially in comparison to what were then much-more-reasonably priced Burgundies.

So I vote "no."

(While we're on the subject, if anybody wants to PM their unvarnished opinion regarding Skewis Pinot -- California Pinot has finally won my heart -- I'd be grateful; I'm considering spending some of my very limited wine budget on a case).

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Manzanita Creek makes several wonderful Zinfandels that need no improvement by blending.

I agree with GordonCooks that Cabernet Sauvignon is probably California's flagship wine.  I've always felt that the best Pinots come from Oregon's Willamette Valley, from a Benton Lane to a higher-end lable like Domaine Drouhin.

I agree on both counts, but Zin is Californias unique contribution--I keep several bottles--It goes very well with smoked beef, hamburgers, even Bar BQ. It has a place in my celler and anyone that ignores it is missing a real pleasure

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Serious California Zinfandel will always have a special place in my cellar.

Dating myself a bit, obtaining a bottle of Ridge Howell Mountain was one of my first serious wine obsessions. Too bad not many producers make that style anymore.

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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