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January 30, 2007

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Lenn: I'd just like to comment that "blanc de noir" simply means "white wine from black grapes" and there is no requirement or connotation that a blanc de noir is a sparkling wine.

Theresa,

Yeah...I know that is what it means, but I think that most people expect bubbles when they see Blanc de Noir...regardless of whether or not they are part of any official meaning.

Wouldn't you agree?

There are a few other wineries on Long Island that make a still Blanc de Noir, as well. I don't think that it is that uncommon.

Lenn:

It's not worth arguing over, I do agree that the terms blanc de noir and blanc de blanc are terms commonly used in Champagne, where they wish to distinguish between champagnes made from white grapes, red grapes or a blend - but the term is also used elsewhere. I have attached the following excerpt from the Wine Institute's website. Also, I understand that Lenz and The Old Field make Blanc de Noirs that are not sparkling.


California Rosé And Other Blanc De Noir Wines
Pink is charming and pretty, the color of flowers, seashells, clouds at twilight or the soft glitter of fire opals. Pink is also the color of some delicious wines. The wines appear delicate, but many are strong enough to stand up to spicy foods. They are also light enough to be a versatile match with a variety of lighter dishes. We know these pretty wines by several names: including rosé, blanc de noir, vin gris or simply blush. The wines may also have a name using the single grape variety from which they may be made, such as White Zinfandel, White Grenache, Pinot Noir Blanc or White Merlot.

White Zinfandel dominates the total blush wine volume sold in U.S. supermarkets, accounting for 60 percent of that category in 2005, according to ACNielsen figures. Extremely popular since the 1970s and continuing to be a favorite, these crisp, slightly sweet (generally 2.5% residual sugar) wines have introduced many consumers to the enjoyment of wine. The other wines in the pink genre are the bone-dry rosés and blanc de noirs. Gaining more and more accolades, these beautiful dry wines have high acidity, and complex aromas and fruit flavors.

Winemakers use nearly all types of red grapes to produce these wines. For rosés, well-colored grape skins are allowed only brief contact with the clear juice after crushing to produce the light crimson hues of a rosé wine, generally an average of six to 24 hours of skin contact. Blanc de noir wines, a term applied to white wines from black grapes, also known as vin gris-style wines, are also produced by quickly separating the clear juice from the color-laden grape skins, but immediately after crushing so that only the barest blush of pale color remains in the wine. Both rosé and blanc de noir wines are then made like white wines.

Lisa,

The only other one that I can think of is Lenz Winery...other than that...

There is Vin Gris, Saignee, Rose, Summer Blush, Spring Splendor, Fleurette, Vin Rosso, Blush de Noir, De Rosa, Blush, Vin Rose...

On the other hand The Old Field's bubbly is Blanc de Noir as do well-known bubbly producers like Gruet Winery, Domaine Chandon, Schramsberg, etc.

I'm not saying that there aren't ANY still wines named blanc de noir or blanc de noirs, but the average consumer is going to expect bubbles in a wine with that name I think.

Theresa,

Definitely not worth arguing over...but it's really about the marketplace more so than what the Wine Institute uses to define things.

My only reason for making the comment in my column is because I think that the average consumer expects a wine Blanc de Noir to be a sparkling wine, because many of the great bubbly houses the world over use it that way. You just don't see as many still wines labeled that way.

The average consumer probably isn't reading the Wine Institutes's website.

By the way The Old Field's still rose is called Blush de Noir and their sparkler is Blanc de Noir.

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