Pinot versus Cabernet

I’ve spent the last year visiting producers and tasting Pinot Noir for my book, In Search of Pinot Noir, published this week. I’ve been so immersed in Pinot Noir that I feel somewhat guilty about deserting it for Cabernet Sauvignon now that I’ve started writing the next book, Claret and Cabs: the Story of Cabernet Sauvignon. They are so different that it’s going to be a big transition, from a wine made from a single variety to a wine that’s mostly blended in Europe but often monovarietal in the New World, from elegance to power, from small producers to large producers. Some issues are similar but take different forms for the two varieties. For Pinot Noir, I spent a good deal of time considering the differences between Old and New Worlds; for Cabernet Sauvignon, the question is more the reversal from the New World copying the Old to influencing it. Will I find as much variety of style in Cabernet as there was in Pinot?


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