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Friday, June 12, 2009

What's worse cheap Pinot Noir or cheap Cabernet?

Recently I tasted a few cheap and mass produced Pinot Noir and Cabernet's and couldn't help but wonder, which one is worse..... I generally tend to believe that nothing tastes worse than a cheap Pinot Noir, but then I think about how damn easy it is to grow Cabernet and even the most woeful producer should be able to churn out something drinkable. Here are some tasting notes I took recently of some budget Pinot and Cab:

2006 Irony Pinot Noir - Monterey County
Nose: strawberry jam, oak
Flavors: oak, green tannin, raspberry, bitter
Notes: tastes like mass produced oak-chip laden wine!
Score: 73 points

2007 337 Cabernet Sauvignon - Lodi
Nose: vitamin, hi-c fruit punch, artificial mixed berry, vanilla, oak, spice, medicinal
Flavors: berry, green tannin, off balance green finish
Notes: off balanced, mass produced, horrible shit, artificial
Score: 68 points

So the verdict is in on this tasting and the Cabernet stole the show! But I'm quite interested to see what you all think. Which is worse, cheap mass produced Pinot Noir or cheap mass produced Cabernet Sauvignon????


steveg said...

Pinot - Not even close!

Benito said...

This is a hard call, because there's a lot more cheap Cab Sav than Pinot Noir.

I'm going to say the Pinot Noir is worse for two reasons:

1) Cheap Cab Sav at least smells and tastes remotely like its better bottles. If you decant it for several hours you get closer to something drinkable. Plus if you're at a party with lots of cheap wine you can dilute it with a little Chardonnay to soften the edges. (Don't tell anyone I said that.)

2) While there are good Cab Sav (or Bordeaux-blend) wines under $20 from various regions all over the world, it's much harder to find a Pinot Noir that enjoyable at that price point. I generally tell people to expect to spend at least $25 before they get the real PN experience.

One casualty of the Sideways effect was that, as idiots acted like jerks about Merlot, they bought a lot of cheap, nasty Pinot Noir expecting it to be fantastic. No idea if those folks are still wine fans now, but it seems like the worst possible way to get into wine.


P.S. Loving the new white background--easier to read!

joeshico said...

Don't care which is worse. They are both bad. If had to chose, I'd go with the one that cost more.

thomas said...

Thanks for the comments guys! Benito you rock dude and I'm with you on the debate. It's a whole lot easier to find a cheap Cab that is at least drinkable.

lesley said...

Hi Thomas
I would have to go with the Pinot Noir, although it's a heavier wine, (well it is for me) it would be preferable, I agree with Benito, you have to decant hours before consuming...I mean about 4-5 hours.

beth said...

Would like to taste carborett with bitter chocolate. Nice blog. Happy blogging

1WineDude said...

Cheap isn't necessarily ba.

Bad is bad.

And I'd say bad Cab is the worst of all.