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Acidity: Pinot Noir vs Cabernet Sauvignon
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Do pinots have higher acidity than cabs? I take medication for acid reflux and have noticed that I have less acid reflux when I drink a cab versus a pinot.
 
Posts: 22 | Location: New York | Registered: Sep 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"It depends".

Certainly there are acidic Cabernets and there are sweet, powerful Pinots.
However I think that there are more tart Pinots around than pretty much any other (non-Italian) red because the grape's character seems to work better that way.

I also suffer from acid reflux, but I find that it's more down to what I eat than what I drink; Mexican, Indian and Italian seem to set me off regardless of what I drink with them.


http://scmwine.info
 
Posts: 7218 | Location: Santa Clara Valley AVA | Registered: Jul 02, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I, too, suffer from this annoyance. As my palate has changed from Cab to Pinot, I have noticed that I suffer more after drinking pinot – quantities being equal. It has been over 20 years since I took a chemistry class, perhaps pinots tend to have lower ph and total acidity. This might explain why we suffer more from our beloved pinot.

Are there any winemakers and/or organic chemist willing to lend an explanation to his phenomenon?

BB
 
Posts: 121 | Location: Fairfield, California | Registered: Mar 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Find some 06 Oregon PN's, less acid and more everything else.

I tasted some 08 PN's in Carlton Friday and it seems to me that they are much more acid than 06's or 07's. Maybe it was just the samples that I tasted but that was my impression.

Most of my 08's will be put away for a couple of years, I am still working hard on my 06's.
 
Posts: 374 | Location: Eugene, Oregon | Registered: Feb 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think you need to be more specific. In general, PN is happier in cooler climates. Grapes from cooler climates typically have higher levels of acidity because heat accelerates the degradation of malic acid during the ripening process. In addition, partly due to dehydration, heat makes the sugar concentration go up. Malic acid is harsher than tartaric acid, which is the predominant acid in grapes, so with more malic the grape also tastes more acidic. So if you get a PN from a cool climate picked relatively early, you probably get more apparent acidity.

But all of that is general. You can grow PN in warmer areas or let it get riper than your neighbor and it just won't seem all that acidic. If it goes through 100% malolactic fermentation, it will seem softer. If it's fermented after being destemmed or whole cluster it's going to seem different. A cab from Bordeaux in say, 2004, is going to seem and will probably be, more acidic than a cab from Napa in 2004, especially if the latter was picked really ripe.

So if you're talking about PN and cab, you need to specify the region each came from - Napa/Sonoma PN vs cab from South Africa or Bordeaux is different than the reverse. And the winemaker probably has as much to do with it as the region. No idea which is best with acid reflux, since thankfully I don't have that problem.


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2611 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When making Pinot Noir vs. making Cab, I try to keep higher acid levels in the Pinot... it seems to respond better, as it has a less robust tannin profile and can really be propelled by that red cherry component. Pinot, to my palate, gets real flabby really quickly when acids drop. Cabernet when made too acidic can often have this overpowering menthol component, and acid seems to amplify the already solid tannic structure, making it more angular and astringent -- so I pick the cab acids a touch lower.

Another factor would be natural acidity vs. augmented. When a wine has had a large acid add, it does nasty things to my stomach, too. Cool climate wines may have more natural acidity, but its the warm climate stuff (aussie, lodi, etc.) that upsets my stomach, but I don't have acid reflux. Is that your experience?


Ian Brand
Winemaker, Ne'er-do-well
The Coastview Vineyard
 
Posts: 34 | Location: Salinas, Ca | Registered: Aug 07, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting point about augmented acid. It's typically tartaric acid that is used, correct? Although in France there is increasing use of lactic acid, or so I've been told. That might make a difference, no?


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2611 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for all the comments. I drink primarily CA and OR pinots and CA cabs. My experience has been that the CA and OR pinots tend to give me greater acid reflux than CA cabs.
 
Posts: 22 | Location: New York | Registered: Sep 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think there are over the counter meds Iv'e seen for acid reflux. Anyone try one before drinking wine?
 
Posts: 9424 | Location: minneapolis minnesota usa | Registered: Dec 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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