Cabernet Blends are usually dark, rich full bodied Reds. The main grape varietals blended are Cabernet, Merlot & Shiraz, Cabernet, Shiraz, Malbec & Merlot, Cabernet & Petit Verdot or, they can also include Cabernet with Rosé for a lighter colour and taste.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are amongst the most popular red wine varieties in Australia and throughout the world. When blended together, they form a classic combination that is identified by breeding and distinction. According to a leading wine producer, the ideal blend of Cabernet Merlot is about 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. The blend is identified by a deep black colour and a bouquet that resembles a touch of soft chocolate, dark plum and violets. Among wine aficionados it is considered to be one of the classic varietal combinations in the world of wine.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most readily recognised of the red wine world. Like the Chardonnay, it is planted widely and distributed globally. This results in there being many versions of the grape. It is thought by many that Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that needs to age, but that is only because the best red Bordeaux need age. Most non-premium varieties can be drunk straight away. Under ideal growing conditions Cabernet Sauvignon produces an aromatic, tannic wine that ages and changes to be both elegant and powerful. Perfectly balanced Bordeaux is one that has classic flavours of black-currants, cedar, cigar boxes, pencils, mint and dark chocolate.
Chardonnay is known for producing excellent full-bodied wines. Chardonnay grapes like to grow is cool area and usually produce an abundance of fruit flavors. You can pick up apple, pineapple, or the hint of peach. Where they grow in warmer climates Chardonnays may have less of the fruits flavours but develop interesting honey, vanilla and roasted flavors that really fill the mouth. If you are describing a Chardonnay the flavors that are can be sensed on the palate are apple, pineapple, coconut, pear, peach, honey, yeast, vanilla, butter, toast or roasted almond or hazelnut.
Dessert Wines are generally sweet wines, such as sherries, ports, and muscatels and are fortified with brandy to bring them up to a higher alcohol content. A more down to earth definition of a Dessert Wine is one that is served with desserts or by itself after a meal. Dessert wines today include such sweet wines as Muscat Canelli and em>late harvest White Riesling, which have a lower alcohol content than one of the fortified variety.
The best quality Merlot grows in rocky, arid ground but is fairly adaptable. While the Merlot flavour profile is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot tends to be less distinctive and carry a slightly more herb like aroma and flavour. Ripeness seems to effect flavour and aroma in that both under ripe and overripe grapes tend towards a more herb flavour and aroma. Merlot, because of its lower natural acidity, generally is less astringent and usually has a more lush feel on the palate. The most frequent aromas and flavours typically found in Merlot include currant, black cherry, plum, violet, rose, caramel, clove, bay leaf, green peppercorn, bell pepper, green olive.
Pinot Gris (or, as it is known in Italy, Pinot Grigio) is the best-known white cousin of the Pinot Noir. Ripe Pinot Gris grapes tend to be from bluish grey to light pinkish brown in colour. It is not unusual to find clusters of grapes with a variety of colours. The variety can is recognised by its sweetness. It is sometimes blended with Pinot Noir to add richness and to lighten. Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio is usually has a delicate fragrance and one can sense a mild floral or lemon-citrus flavour on the palate. Depending upon how ripe the grape is at harvest and the wine technique used, Pinot Gris can be tangy and light, or quite rich, round and full bodied. Depending on how the wine is made Pinot Gris may even age well. Flavours and aromas usually associated with Pinot Gris are lemon, apple or pear.
When the growing season is just right and the climate is cool enough the Pinot Noir can make exceptionally fruity reds of great class. Pinot Noir is also invaluable ingredient in the production of sparkling wine. When drinking Pinot Noir one can enjoy the bouquet and the elegance in aromas such as tobacco, hay, vanilla, smoke, violets or roses and flavors such as raspberry, strawberry, cherry or truffles. For best effect Pinot Noir can provide a memorable experience at six to seven years of age. However, for many of the best varieties, it can continue to improve for longer period in the cellar.
Riesling vines are particularly hard-wooded and like cold weather. They bud late, so are well-suited to the coldest wine-growing climates. The berries are small, round and soft when ripe, with tender, greenish-yellow skins that have a flecked appearance. The bunches hang in tight, winged clusters that ripen later than other varieties. Riesling has a powerful and distinctive floral and apple-like aroma that frequently mixes in mineral elements from its vineyard source and is often described as racy. The most frequently encountered aroma or flavor for the Riesling are woodruff, rose petal, violet, apple, pear, peach or apricot.
Rosé is a different sort of wine, with all the refreshing qualities of a white wine mixed with some characteristics of a red. It can be made from many different grape varieties and in many different regions. Technically, a rosé is an unfinished red wine. Rosé is a wine that goes through the red winemaking process, but is stopped before extracting too many red wine characteristics. Almost always made from red varietals, the grapes are pressed and the juice sits with the skins for fermentation for enough time to get a bit of colour and skin characteristics. Rosés are typically ready to drink early. Rosés can be of different styles - sweet or dry, dark or light. Pink wines have delicious character and the dryer styles are sweeter.
The Sauvignon Blanc grape likes the sunshine but with too much heat and it can quickly deteriorate. It has a long growing season. Sauvignon Blanc wine is pale, relatively light, acidic and often made into wine without oak. It has a distinctive aroma, often described as fresh cut grass, bell peppers, or asparagus. Similar to the wines they produce, Sauvignon Blanc grapes have sharp and tangy flavors. Flavours can include asparagus, lemons, apricots, kiwi fruit, tart apples, mango, green pease or sweet bell peppers. Apart from a few excellent wines, Sauvignon Blanc is best for drinking when you get the bottle home.
The Semillon variety is a fairly full bodied wine and tends to be low in acidity. Most Semillon is blended. Semillon has a soft and subtle flavour on the palate. Semillon can come in both a sweet or dry variety and the dry age very well and often reach their peak after 10 years in the bottle. Common flavours and aromas associate with Semillon are, fig, lemon, pear, saffron, grass, weeds, bell pepper or asparagus.
Shiraz Blends are usually dark, full bodied flavoursome reds. The main grape varietals blended are Shiraz & Viognier, Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz & Grenache, Shiraz, Sangiovese, Merlot & Tempranillo among many other varietals that can be blended with Shiraz.
Shiraz, the name by which it is known in Australia, where it produces rich fruity wines, ranging from the less expensive everyday bottles right up to Australia's, Penfolds Grange (once known under the Grange Hermitage label). Syrah is the more common name by which this grape variety is known. It is thick-skinned grape which produces tannic and long-lived wines. It is also late-ripening grape which may explain why it is grown in warm regions. Typical flavours and aromas identified with Shiraz include black fruits and black pepper, raspberries, spice, herbs, grilled meats, charcoal, smoke and tar.
Sparkling wines are basically wines with bubbles and this type of wine, for many people, is commonly associated with festivities and celebrations. Sparkling Wines are more complicated to make than still wines and have higher acidity, more delicate flavor, their unique palate tingle and lower alcohol but they include some of the most versatile wines to accompany food. The traditional way of making sparkling wine begins with the harvest of the grape early in the season, followed by immediate pressing of the grapes, then followed by a primary and secondary fermentation process to boost the sugar and alcohol components. The acids in the grapes help to preserve the wine over the course of its development. Champagne and Sparkling Wine are synonymous but the word champagne can now only be used with wines produced from that region of France.
There are something like 200 red grape varieties planted throughout the world. Any two or more combined together in varying proportions can constitute a blend. The right blend is a combination of science and taste. And who can account for taste!
There are something like 250 white grape varieties planted throughout the world. Any two or more combined together in varying proportions can constitute a blend. The right blend is a combination of science and taste. And who can account for taste!