4 Red Wines: Why Their Fruit Flavors Matter


photo by: Yulia Matvienko

Each of the noble grapes has typical fruit flavors. That fruit profile can vary a bit depending on the ripeness of the grape at harvest. Why does this matter? If you know the flavor range of any given grape, then you’ll know the flavors to expect when picking up a bottle.


Let’s take a closer look at the flavor ranges for these 4 noble grapes.


1) Pinot Noir

The typical taste profile for Pinot Noir is red fruit like raspberry and strawberry. The range of flavor moves from fresh red fruit flavors to ripe red fruit flavors. To better understand this, think about the taste of a just-ripe strawberry. It may be fresh, bright, and a bit acidic. Then think about a fully ripe strawberry. It will have full, robust flavors.


2) Merlot

The typical taste for Merlot is a mix of red and black fruit. Merlot will range from red fruit flavors of strawberry and red plum to cooked black fruit flavors of blackberry and black plum.


3) Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet typically has flavors of black fruit like black currant and blackberry. It ranges from fresh black fruit to cooked black fruit.


4) Syrah / Shiraz

A typical Syrah / Shiraz has black fruit flavors of black cherry and blackberry. It will range from fresh black fruit to cooked black fruit. You’ll find that wine labeled Syrah will tend toward the fresh black fruit flavors while Shiraz will lean toward the cooked black fruit flavors.


Ripeness Ranges

Notice how all of these grapes have either a red fruit or black fruit focus to start with. These flavors are directly tied to that particular grape.


Then note that their flavor ranges from fresh flavors to ripe/cooked flavors. This range is due to the ripeness of the grape at harvest. The climate also plays a factor. A warm climate ripens grapes more quickly producing more of the ripe and cooked fruit flavors. At the same time, a cool or moderate climate will produce grapes that lean toward the fresh fruit end of the spectrum.


Flavor Range and Why It Matters

By knowing the typical flavors and ranges of each grape, you will have a better understanding of what to expect in the bottle. To set up your own tasting with these red wines go to: Red Wine Tasting


Cheers!

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