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- bskough - 02-23-2010 04:02 PM

I'm pretty new to the entire world of wine, but I am loving the adventure. I went to the Central Coast in CA for a weekend of tasting and had so much fun. I had a question that I couldn't get a response for. I'm also having a hard time finding the answer on the internet so I thought I would ask some experts. If you look at these wines (to follow) how would you rank them by body (like lightest body to heaviest body)? For me this matters as I'm tasting. I want to know if what I'm tasting is what I should be tasting. And I know body has more to do with feel and that there are a million other factors going on that affect what I'm tasting, but I would still love to have an answer for this question. So could somebody please take a little time and rank these wines from lightest to most full bodied? Thank you very, very much.

Reds

Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Grenache
Malbec
Merlot
Petite Sirah
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese
Syrah
Zinfandel


Whites

Chardonnay
Chenin Blanc
Gewurztraminer
Pinot Grigio
Riesling
Sauvignon Blanc
Semillon
Viognier


- andrawes76 - 02-23-2010 04:39 PM

Now this is a great question... Foodie? These are my educated (or not so) guess based on my experience... It really depends the terroir, on the producer and the style. I have had really woodsy Cab Franc with incredible body and one that was smooth as silk... Whites are a bit more difficult for me as body can be masked by sweetness.

Reds
Cabernet Sauvignon
Malbec
Cabernet Franc
Grenache
Merlot
Syrah
Zinfandel
Petite Sirah
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese

Whites

Chardonnay
Sauvignon Blanc
Riesling
Gewurztraminer
Pinot Grigio
Viognier
Chenin Blanc
Semillon


- wondersofwine - 02-23-2010 04:59 PM

I won't venture an opinion on the whites but with reds I think generally Merlot,Grenache, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc are medium in body compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah. I haven't had enough Malbec to place it.


- bskough - 02-23-2010 05:29 PM

This is so interesting to me and it's similar to some of the responses I've gotten from people I've asked. The opinions seem quite varied. Isn't there a definitive answer out there? If there's not that's fine, and I'm not at all shooting down people's opinions and would love more of them.

Thank you both for your responses.

Oh, and I'm very far from a foodie. But that would be fun.


- Thomas - 02-23-2010 06:44 PM

By Foodie, he meant me...

Your question is indeed unanswerable in anything more than vague references to what we often expect of wines. But what we often expect is sometimes not what we get. In fact, there's no particular rule or reason for wines to be full bodied as opposed to light because even grapes that have a certain body and soul can be altered by the winemaker.

Having said that, I'll say this: here's your list changed to the order of boldness/lightness--as a complete and utter generality, which I am certain can be challenged.

Reds

Cabernet Sauvignon
Malbec
Petite Sirah
Syrah
Zinfandel
Merlot
Cabernet Franc
Sangiovese
Pinot Noir
Grenache


Whites

Chardonnay
Gewurztraminer
Viognier
Riesling
Chardonnay (yes, again)
Sauvignon Blanc
Chenin Blanc
Pinot Grigio
Riesling (yes, again)


Semillon




[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 02-23-2010).]


- winoweenie - 02-23-2010 08:48 PM

I agree with Foodies assesment with the following caveat which he alluded to; The winemaker can and will adjust his wine according to what's in vogue today. WW


- bskough - 02-23-2010 09:59 PM

Thank you for your thoughts. I REALLY appreciate them. I would love to continue to hear what anyone else may think.


- VouvrayHead - 02-23-2010 10:25 PM

I really like Foodie's list. I would make 2 simple switches and one more little change, all with the HUGE caveat that he knows way the hell more than I do. But, since you asked for more feedback...

I'd switch Petite Sirah and Malbec, and I'd switch Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. I'd also move the light-bodied style of Riesling up a notch or two.

And Viognier just puzzles me. I don't really like it where it is, but I can't come up with anywhere else I'd like it! [Image: smile.gif] Who cares about how it feels in the mouth anwyay? Just so long as it smells good!

And, as Foodie said and WW reiterated, a huge amount has to do with wine-maker factors as much as grape factors.




[This message has been edited by VouvrayHead (edited 02-23-2010).]


- andrawes76 - 02-24-2010 12:39 PM

I thought Foodie would have a better result, but thought Id give it a stab. Its just that different styles by winemakers give different results. Last week at a Petit Sirah tasting I threw in a bottle of Groom Aussie Zin and someone swore to got it was a Syrah "no if's or but's about it"... I chuckled.


- winoweenie - 02-24-2010 06:48 PM

BTW bskough where are you from? WW


- Thomas - 02-24-2010 07:15 PM

"Last week at a Petit Sirah tasting I threw in a bottle of Groom Aussie Zin and someone swore to got it was a Syrah 'no if's or but's about it'"

Well now, with the 75%/25% varietal rule, and the fact that many Zinfandels receive some Syrah in the blend...not hard to imagine the possibility.


- bskough - 02-28-2010 05:02 PM

Thanks again guys. I really appreciate the responses. I'm from central California. My wine tasting experience has only taken over to the Paso Robles area. I tasted some good wines (and have tried some other wonderful ones at a local wine bar) and loved the entire experience.

This conversation will lead me into further questions I have about similarities of taste that I would love for you all to respond to as well please, but alas I'm chairing a meeting in two hours and I'm not prepared yet.

YIKES!!!

Please look for some more questions in the near future if you don't mind.


- winoweenie - 02-28-2010 05:15 PM

Great area and some killer wines being produced there. Looking forward to your participation on the board and watching the eyes widen as you find your drinking legs. WW