Mourvedre

Also known as Mataro and Monastrell, Mourvedre is a Spanish grape, originating from the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. It is most commonly used as a blending partner to Grenache and Syrah, to add a bit
of colour and reinforce the tannins. There are some example of a pure varietal wine most successfully made in Bandol, Provence, where they produce truly premium Mourvedre and in Southern Rhone.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours N/A Blackberry, black plum, game meat, black pepper Blackberry, Black currant, Blueberry, Black Pepper, Violet, Smoke, Gravel
Acidity N/A Medium+ Medium
Alcohol N/A High High
Body N/A Full Full
Tannin N/A High High
Sugar N/A Dry Dry

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Tempranillo

Tempranillo is most famous as the main grape in Rioja, Spain. Its deep, juicy flavours, complemented by the vanilla, coconut and spicy flavours from oak ageing make this a favourite wine for many wine drinkers. It is great value for money, as even some of the older examples are very affordable and high quality. It is now grown all over Spain, with Ribera del Duero, producing slightly more expensive, premium examples of the Tempranillo.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours N/A Cherry, Strawberry, Tomato Leaf, Vanilla, Coconut, Dill Cherry Jam, Raspberry Jam, Tomato Juice, Sweet Coconut, Vanilla
Acidity N/A Medium Medium
Alcohol N/A Medium+ High
Body N/A Medium+ Full
Tannin N/A Medium+ Medium+
Sugar N/A Dry Dry

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Sangiovese

This is the native grape of Chianti in Tuscany, Italy and is slowly finding its way to other vineyards across Italy and into the New World. It is famously paired with slow cooked lamb and tomato based pasta sauces as it has distinctive herbaceous notes.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours N/A Cherry, Strawberry, Tomato Leaf, Leather Tomato, Sour Cherry, Leather, Spice
Acidity N/A High Medium+
Alcohol N/A Medium+ High
Body N/A Medium+ Full
Tannin N/A Medium+ High
Sugar N/A Dry Dry

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Barbera

In spite of Nebbiolo taking the crown in Piemonte, Barbera is actually the grape that produces the most. Originally produced as a table wine for Italian families to share with lunch, it is getting more and more traction as winemakers discover the potential of this soft and fresh grape. Lighter in tannins, higher in acidity, it is incredibly food friendly.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours Sour cherry, strawberry, lavender Red cherry, ripe strawberry, ripe raspberry, violet Black Cherry, Strawberry Jam, Dried Plums
Acidity High High High
Alcohol Low Low Medium-
Body Medium- Medium Medium
Tannin Medium- Medium- Medium-
Sugar Dry Dry Dry

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Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is named after Nebbia, the fog that covers the hills of Piemonte, Italy, where Nebbiolo is the crowning glory. A very hard grape to grow, it is light skinned, making it prone to natures attack and often succumbs to hail,
frost and other problems. When it comes true however, it produces some of the finest, premium wines on the planet. It is forceful but elegant. Attempts at growing it elsewhere have been made, but no one has been able to replicate the quality that comes out of Piemonte.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours Violets, Strawberries, Orange Peel Violets, Strawberries, Orange Peel, Tar, Tobacco Raspberry Jam, Sweet Orange, Tar
Acidity High High Medium+
Alcohol High High High
Body Medium+ Full Full
Tannin High High High
Sugar Dry Dry Dry

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Grenache

Similar to Merlot, this is a seriously underrated and underappreciated grape variety. It is one of the most planted grape varieties on the planet, yet most have never heard of it. It makes its way in to most Provence Rosé, it’s
an important blending partner in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône and it is a serious, prestigious wine in Priorat and Rioja in Spain (known as Garnacha). It can produce high yields, and as such delivers decent, quaffable wines, but when yields are restricted, the wines become concentrated and provide layers and layers of aromas.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours N/A Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Milk Chocolate, White Pepper Cherry Jam, Strawberry, Raspberry Jam, Chocolate, White Pepper
Acidity N/A Medium Medium
Alcohol N/A Medium+ High
Body N/A Medium+ Medium+
Tannin N/A Medium Medium+
Sugar N/A Dry Dry

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Malbec

Malbec used to cover most of Europe’s vineyards, until a disease called phyloxera wiped out the majority of them. When they replanted the vineyards, Malbec lost it’s premium spot and now only about 1% of the vineyards in Europe contain this grape variety. It is very different across the pond however, where it became the main contender in the up and coming wine country, Argentina. Now produced in a variety of styles, from entry-level to super-premium, there is a Malbec for everyone.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours Herbaceous, Black cherries, Earthy Black cherries, earthy, Cinnamon, Vanilla Black cherries, Black currant, Cinnamon Vanilla
Acidity Medium+ Medium Medium
Alcohol Medium Medium+ High
Body Medium Medium+ Full
Tannin Medium Medium+ Medium+
Sugar Dry Dry Dry

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Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is most commonly used as a blending component in Bordeaux, where it adds herbaceous notes to the blend. You can also find it as a varietal wine in Loire Valley and lately Argentina. Cabernet Franc has a distinctive bell pepper aroma that comes from the under ripeness the grape is famous for. Due to the diurnal range (day and night temperature
difference), Argentina actually manages to ripen the grape fully, creating more than just a plain blending component, but a serious future competitor to Malbec.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours Green bell pepper, Black cherry, plum, earthy Green bell pepper, Blueberry, Plum, Sweet spice, earthy Red Pepper, Blueberries, Plum Jam, Sweet Spice, earthy
Acidity Medium + Medium+ Medium+
Alcohol Medium Medium Medium+
Body Medium Medium+ Full
Tannin Medium Medium Medium+
Sugar Dry Dry Dry

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Syrah

Syrah is definitely a wine lovers favourite grape. It has an uncanny ability to be true to it’s flavour profile with the pepper and meaty notes giving it away immediately. The most famous Syrah come from the Rhone Valley in France and South Australia but it is also common in other parts of the world, with Washington, USA producing some excellent Syrah wines.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours Herbaceous, Blackcurrant, White Pepper Herbaceous, Blackberries, Blackcurrant, Black Pepper, Smoked Meat, Mediterranean Spice Blackberry Jam, Blackcurrant Jam, Black Pepper, Grilled Meat, Mediterranean Spice
Acidity High Medium+ Medium
Alcohol Medium+ Medium+ High
Body Medium+ Full Full
Tannin Medium+ High High
Sugar Dry Dry Dry

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Pinot Noir

The home of Pinot Noir is Burgundy, France, where the monks have been cultivating, researching and improving the grape for centuries. It produces very elegant, complex wines, that are unlike any other grape. It is an expensive grape to grow, so prices are rarely low, but it also rarely disappoints, so investment in Pinot is generally always a good idea. It is also one of the 3 main grapes in Champagne, California and New Zealand with many other wine regions such as Germany and South Africa looking to tame it.

  Cool Climate Moderate Climate Warm Climate
Distinctive Flavours Raspberry, Strawberry, Roses, Leather Raspberry, Strawberry, Cherry, Red Florals, Forrest Floor Cheery, Black Cherry, Sour Cherry, Strawberry Jam
Acidity High Medium+ Medium+
Alcohol Low Medium- Medium
Body Light Medium- Medium-
Tannin Low              Low Medium-
Sugar Dry Dry Dry

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