Cabernet Sauvignon’s distinctive black currant aroma can develop bouquet nuances of cedar, violets, leather, or cigar box and typically has a tannic edge that will soften and smooth considerably with time. It’s a wine that ages extremely well, and indeed produces striking results after a long storage period.
Chardonnay is unmistakable in the mouth because of its impeccable sugar/acid balance, full body, and smooth ripe flavors. It often smells like apples, lemons, peaches or tropical fruits. Popular throughout the world, it is the most commonly planted varietal in California.
Gewurztraminer originated in the South of Austria’s Tyrol region, and is now grown commonly in many of the world’s finest wine regions. It can be made in a dry or sweet style, such as a dessert wine, and is generally best enjoyed soon after bottling. Flavors qualities include honey, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, apricot and pear.
Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s showpiece grape. It yields concentrated, harmonious wines rich in finesse and with long life potential. Veltliner wines are reliable in their development. They bring pure enjoyment in their youth, and guarantee utmost drinking pleasure in maturity.
Merlots tend to be dry, rich in flavor, and smooth in finish. The bouquet is ripe with berry and fruit smells, and thus the wines tend to have fruit forward flavors. Merlots can be consumed soon after bottling but can age for long periods for optimal tasting.
Once one of the most widely planted grapes in California, Petite Syrah is known for deep color, luscious mouth feel and wild berry fragrance. The striking purple color is immediately noticeable and aromas of violet and rose usually follow.
Pinot Grigio flavors can range from honey and smoke to fruits like melon and pear. The color is light yellow, often golden, and is paired with an extremely smooth texture. Dry and crisp, the wine is high in acidity and is generally best consumed in first few years after bottling.
Pinot Noir is a lighter color and bodied red wine, with intense complex flavors and a silky texture. Somewhat dry in its taste, the flavors often include berries, plums, cherries rose petals and mushrooms. The grapes are difficult to grow and susceptible to disease, making the varietal an excellent challenge for most winemakers. This varietal shows its best when grown in cool climate.
The name Primitivo comes from the Italian word “Primaticcio” meaning early, due to the grape’s short growing cycle and precocious ripening compared to other varieties. Primitivo has deep ruby red color and an open floral bouquet layered with fragrances of wild red berry, dried plum, and spices. This robust red wine has a balanced complexity and intense, persistent flavors.
Rosé is neither purely red wine nor purely white wine. The actual color varies depending on the grapes involved and the winemaking techniques, and can range from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple. Most Rosé wines are the result of crushing the red grapes early on, allowing only brief contact between the skin and the juice so that the grapes are not able to impart their color (or much tannin) to the final wine. The Rosé is made in the Saignee style, made by running off or ‘bleeding’ a certain amount of free run juice from the just crushed dark skinned grapes after a short pre-fermentation maceration.
Sangiovese is fruity and occasionally spicy, with moderate to high natural acidity and generally a medium-body. The finish is somewhat bitter, but general flavors range from berries to floral. Spicier tastes include cinnamon, clover and thyme.
Sauvignon Blanc is typically shows flavors of grapefruit, passion fruit, gooseberry and melon. Sauvignon Blanc show more aggressive, grassy and bell pepper flavors when the grapes are grown in an ultra cool climate lacking sun exposure or are harvested too early. The varietal can be extremely dry or even sweet, depending on the winemaker.
Tempranilllo is the most widely grown grape variety in its native Spain due to the
varietal’s adaptability to extreme continental climate and the characteristics that
it provides to its wines. With a preference for high-altitude vineyards, sharp temperature contrasts, and plenty of sunshine, Tempranillo develops a tannic structure that supports long-term aging. Generally, Tempranillo has a fruity aroma which evolves with aging into notes of spice, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate and roasted coffee. On the palate, lively fruit flavors are well-balanced with smooth tannins and subtle acidity.
Tocai’s color is generally a rich and luminous straw yellow. It slowly unfolds into an
array of complex aromas, with a light florality emerging first, followed by richer
notes of ripe fruit, in particular peach and pear. Grown almost entirely in Italy, the
grapes require specific attention to yield the amazing flavors they capable of.
Zinfandel can be made light and fruity or complex and age worthy. It can also be
made into big, ripe, high alcohol style wines. Zinfandel is also a component of many California “jug” wines, since it is the most widely planted red wine grape. A good Zinfandel has a very fruity, raspberry-like aroma and flavor and a “jammy” quality. It’s usually best 3-5 years after bottling.