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Agliancio is a red-grape variety widely planted in Southern Italy, Basilicata. It is also known as Gnanico, Agliatica, Ellenico, Ellanico and Uva Nera. It is an ancient grape. Some argue that it was cultivated before the Roman Republic. Aglianico wine is usually ruby-red and develops orange hues with aging. Its aroma is vinous, full, and improves with aging, when its forward tannic quality softens and becomes delicate.
Cabernet Sauvignon berries are small, spherical with black, thick and very tough skin. This toughness makes the grapes fairly resistant to disease and spoilage and able to withstand some autumn rains with little damage. It is a mid to late season ripener. These growth characteristics, along with its flavor appeal have made Cabernet Sauvignon one of the most popular red wine varieties worldwide.
Mourvedre is known by various names: in Spain as Monastrell (or occasionally Morastell or Morrastel), in the Americas and Australia as Mataro. The grape requires a hot climate to ripen, and is thus usually found in the very south of France. Even in Spain it is only grown in significant quantities in the southern half of the country. In hot years, it is capable of producing high-alcohol wines with a high level of tannin.
Petit Syrah is also called Durif (or Duriff) and is a minor variety of red wine grape grown in France, California and Australia. The grape is named after Francois Durif, who discovered it in a vineyard near the University of Montpellier, France. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allows either Petite Sirah or Durif to be used on U.S. wine labels. Petite Sirah wine is usually ruby red and develops orange hues with aging. Its aroma is vinous, full, and improves with age.
Cabernet Franc is a red wine grape variety similar to and a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. When Cabernet Franc is combined with Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon is the result. Cabernet Franc tends to be softer and has fewer tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, although the two can be difficult to distinguish. Sometimes the French refer to Cabernets, which could mean either of the two grapes. Its typical aromas include a pronounced peppery nose, even in ripe fruit. Depending on growing region and the style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, and cassis. Cabernet Franc is slow to mature and late to ripen.
Sangiovese literally means "blood of Jove"; and it is likely that Sangiovese (a.k.a. Sangioveto or San Gioveto) was known by Etruscan winemakers, although the first literary reference to it was in 1722. It is probably indigenous to Tuscany. Italian immigrants from Tuscany likely introduced the Sangiovese grape to California in the late 1800s. Vineyards with limestone soil seems to produce wines with more forceful aromas. Our sub soils are abundant in limestone, allowing the fruit to mature slowly.
Syrah is the grape variety used in the famous wines of Hermitage, Crozes and Cote Rotie. Its also one of the varieties used in the wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This grape produces an intense wine, with a deep violet-black color, chewy texture and richness of red wine. The bouquet is usually distinguished by aromas of black pepper, mulberries and blackcurrants.
Tannat is a red wine grape, predominantly grown in southern France. It is predominantly used to make Cahors AOC and Madiran AOC wines, giving them high levels of tannin, a high alcohol level, and the ability to age very well. It is also used to make Armagnac. Rosïe winesare also made from it; these are usually very full bodied. It is also grown in Argentina, Australia, Italy and Uruguay.
Merlot grapes are identified by their loose bunches of large berries. The color has less of a blue/black hue than Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and with a thinner skin, the grapes have fewer tannins. Also compared to Cabernet, a Merlot grape tends to have higher sugar content and lower malic acid. Merlot normally ripens up to two weeks earlier then Cabernet Sauvignon.
Grenache is a red grape variety grown primarily for the making of wine. It grows well in hot, dry regions and is grown in southern France, Spain, South America, Australia, and California's Central Valley. Grenache, with its ability to produce high suger levels, is especially associated with sweet and fortified wines.
Cinsault (or Cinsaut) is one of the oldest south of France varietals. Even nowadays it is impossible to determinate its origins. Cinsault produces large grains, which are very sweet and juicy. Wine made from Cinsault grapes can have great perfume and supple texture.
Pino Gris, or pinot grigio, as they're known in Italy, may be described as having colors from bluish grey to light pinkish brown. Clusters with a variety of colors are not unusual. Pinot Gris is usually delicately fragrant and mildly floral with subtle lemon-citrus flavors.
A wonderful choice of wine to serve with fruit and cream desserts, as it enhances the fruity flavors in desserts and adds freshness to balance any of the excess richness of cream, custard or ice-cream.
It also makes a delicious accompaniment to a platter of cheeses, and a wonderful partner to foie gras or a coarse, rich pate at the start of a meal.
known by many names, this grape's official French name is Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains, which translates as "Muscat with small berries". In the northern hemisphere this late-ripening variety is mainly used to make dessert wines, or as a table grape. Grown in many countries, including Austria and Germany (Muskateller), Hungary (Muscat Lunel), and France (Muscat Frontignan), it may be the oldest known grape, confirmed as growing around the Mediterranean for centuries.
According to the Geilweilerhof database, this variety has many names including Fromental Noir, Bergeron in the french Savoie region, and Fromenteau, the latter name not to be confused with the Fromenteau (Gris) variety.
Viognier produces an intense, dry white wine, filling one's palette with fruit and mingling apricot, apple, peach and violet with a hint of honey. Viognier is best when the grapes are young. It is beautiful with spicy Asiatic dishes, or with medium to strong cheeses. It is also an unusual choice for simply prepared lobster, roast chicken and sole or trout.
Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which likely originates from the Bordeaux region of France. It's now planted in much of the world's winelands, producing a crisp, dry and refreshing white varietal wine. Depending on climate, its flavours can range from aggressively grassy to sweetly tropical. In France, Sauvignon Blanc is grown in Bordeaux. Plantings in California, Australia, Chile, and South Africa are also extensive, and Sauvignon Blanc is steadily increasing inpopularity as white wine drinkers seek alternatives to Chardonnay.
This grape most likely originated in the Northern Rhone region, where it's still widely planted today. It is a principal component of the white wines from the Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph AOCs. It is the most widely planted white wine grape in the Hermitage AOC, where it is often blended with Roussanne. It can be found in some white wines from the Côtes du Rhône AOC. Although Marsanne is mostly made into a dry wine, some producers in the Rhône have also experimented with making a dessert-style straw wine with Marsanne.