Wine Grape Descriptions
California Wine Grape Descriptions
RED: A dark berried grape, Barbera tends to be a rugged, full-flavored grape high in natural acid. Wine made from Barbera grapes are generally dry, full-bodied and richly colored with a tang that is both flavorful and pleasant to the palate. High in natural acids, Barbera has been known to age well for long periods. Young, it drinks well with zesty dished like spicy tomato based stews or dishes heavy in garlic.
RED: Closely related to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, Cabernet Franc is an early maturing grape lighter in color and considerable lower in tannins. It produces a wine which is light to medium bodied with woody or herbaceous aromas that are distinct while the wine is young, unlike it's relative, Cabernet Sauvignon. Though it was once most widely used for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon because of it's ability to strengthen without compromising character of flavor, Cabernet Franc is experiencing a recent surge in popularity as a varietal table wine.
RED - A late ripening grape, Carignane has been described as being high in everything: color, acid, tannins, and flavor. Because of these qualities, it is often used in blends. More recently, Carignane has experienced a rise in popularity as it produces a varietal table wine that is heavy-bodied and flavorful. Blend it with Grenache to make a red table wine.
WHITE - French Colombard - This is an aromatic white grape which has historically been used for blending to add acidity and aroma to other white wines. Full bodied, crisp, with a highly aromatic, perfumy character, French Colombard is sometimes used alone to create a distinct and aromatic wine that complements spicy dishes.
From simple everyday drinking wines blended with Thompson Seedless and Chenin Blanc to a slightly fruitier wine blended with Muscat Alexandria and elegant dry blends with Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, French Colombard has proven to be a very good blending partner. Wines blended with French Colombard are easy drinking, do not need aging and are ready for early consumption.
WHITE: A light grape variety which produces medium to sweet wines that are very aromatic and full bodied. The aroma of Malvoise wine will vary from a flowery, perfumed character to a distinct orange blossom aroma. This is a good wine for those who enjoy sweet wines or those who are just beginning to drink wine. It is best served well chilled and makes a great sipping wine for a warm afternoon.
Full bodied white, high alcohol. Rich in taste.
Merlot RED: Produces supple and richly coloured wines with a nutmeg spiciness and plummy fruitiness. Blends will with Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, ideal for early drinking
RED: Wine made from Ruby Cabernet tends to be dry, somewhat richly flavored, with aromas that very from earthy to herbaceous. It is best paired with red meats or game. Deep coloured and pleasant. Best enjoyed young.
WHITE: A very old grape with a great history, Muscat grapes range in color from pale gold to golden brown. Named for the particularly musky scent, this grape will produce wines that are distinctly delicate and aromatic. Wines made form Muscat grapes tend to be refreshingly sweet and pale to deep golden color. They are often best when well chilled and make a good dessert wine or one which can be served alone for sipping. Similar to Johannisber Riesling, but more intense in flavor and aroma.
RED:A late ripening variety, which probably lends to the deeply complex aroma, Nebbiolo grapes are deeply colored and high in natural acids. They tend to produce wines rich in color, aroma, and tannins with a character that has been described anywhere form earthly to floral. Like the Cabernets, Nebbiola is best left to mature for longer periods which allows the flavor and aroma to deepen. It pairs well with beef, lamb, wild game, or any heavily seasoned meat. Most famous Red wines such as Barolo, and Barbaresco.
RED: Increasingly popular, Sangiovese is a variable red grape with medium color and a character that ranges anywhere from leathery to fruity. It tends to ripen a bit later, often creating higher tannin levels. This lends to longer life in wines make with this varietal grape. Wines made with this grape are light to medium in color, variable in flavor and aroma, are often best consumed relatively young.
WHITE: A premium quality grape, Sauvignon Blanc is distinctively medium-bodied, and aromatic. It produces crisp wines which range form dry to sweet, with complex character ranging from grassy or herbaceous to musky. It is served both as a dinner wine to complement the flavor of poultry or seafood and with dessert, though this is more common with the sweeter varieties or blends.
Syrah RED: The Syrah grape is characterized by moderate berries of a deep, dense nature. Intense in aroma and high in natural acids, the Syrah grape makes wines which age well for long periods of time. Wine made with Syrah will be medium to dark in color with a rich, heady aroma and flavor. It takes time, however, for Syrah to mature to these qualities, making it a wine that should not be consumed young lest you favor a highly astringent wine. Deep, dark opaque, burnt purple colour. Aroma that's intensely spicy. A flavour this is peppery-rich.
RED: This widely planted, black-skinned grape exhibits a variety of qualities reminiscent of the individual growing region. Prized originally for its ability to produce, Zinfandel is becoming more appreciated as a producer of good varietal wines. Wines made from Zinfandel grapes are often dry, vigorous reds with flavor and aroma that vary form somewhat fresh and delicate to heavier and more robust. It is not uncommon for Zinfandels to have just a hint of sweet. Deep red-purple colour. Warm, can be very high in sugar,berry-like, jammy intense, spicy characteristic. Fermentation without skin contact will produce a white or slightly pink wine.