Being one of the great varieties of Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon brings its structure, strength and complexity to create great aged wines.
Its tannic strength allows an important ageing potential. Though its tannins are rather closed at first, they become fuller during the ageing process thanks to their affinity for the French oak tannins coming from the barrels.
Its rich aroma is bassed around red fruits, liquorice, raspberries, violets, morello cherries… Over months it develops aromas of cedar, spices, roast coffee, leather and, also, touches of mineral and cigar box.
In the mixing process with Merlot, it brings structure and strength, giving rise to spicy wines of great complexity able to evolve over the years in the bottle for the enjoyment of patient consumers.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a robust variety as are the tannins, it is late-maturing, with thick skinned grapes well protected against the rot at the end of the cycle. Low yields ensure a good concentration in the grape. It is harvested after Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It brings to wine a reasonably high tanic strengh and some sharp-well defined flavours appreciated by the consumer.
The origin of this variety is surrounded by controversy, tradition says that the Romans brought it from Persia (now Iran), other theories, however, suggest that the Crusading knights brought it from the east. It has also being said that most likely the wine served at the last supper was a Syrah. Recently, a Californian research team in collaboration with the French INRA has shown, by DNA analysis, that this variety originated in the area of the Rhone.
It is a variety that requires a lot of sunshine and high temperatures, it has a medium size bunch, compact and cylindrical in shape. The berries are small in an ovoid shape and blue in colour.
Under favourable conditions, Syrah enables the production of high quality wines, with a lot of color, rich in tannins and with strong aromatic potential. It is difficult to produce as a single variety wine so it is usually mixed with other varieties such as grenache and monastrel. Nevertheless, despite the difficulties the great single variety Syrahs wines such as those from Hermitage, are characterized by cocoa, cinnamon, cassis, dark chocolate, cherry, leather, spices (pepper notes), raspberries, licorice, truffles and leaf matter aromas.
Merlot is a fine and elegant variety, it has an incomparable fruity aroma, and it is velvety and voluptuous in the mouth. Its small black berries produce deep maroon wines that are dense and sustained.
Another of its great virtues lies in its beautiful aromatic palette of red (strawberry and raspberry) and black fruits (blackberry, blueberry, cassis), more or less chrystalised depending on the vintage. Notes of prune, violet, sweet spices, leather and bushes appear during the ageing process.
Under its charm and subtlety, it also expresses elegant, feminine and sensual tannins. From its youth the mouth is light and docile.
In its meeting with the cabernet, it rounds out the tannic strength, thus bringing complexity to the mixture.
It is an early sprouting variety, the Merlot bunch is cylindrical, small and loose. The berry is little in size polished with a blueish-black colour. It belongs to the Cabernet family (Sauvignon and Franc). The name Merlot comes from the diminutive French of Mirlo ?blackbird-, probably because of the similarity of the colour of the berries with the black plumage of this bird.
Viognier is a little-known variety that was on the verge of extinction: In 1965 there was only a mere 8 hectares of Viognier in the world. In a small appelation of Condrieu (Northern Rhone): Château Grillet, to where the variety was probably brought by the Romans over 2000 years ago from Dalmatia, which was possibly the birthplace of this variety.
Viognier is a difficult to grow variety. Very sensitive to downey mildew and its production is low and unpredictable. This variety needs a complete ripening to develop its distinctive flavours, its golden colour and unctuous texture in the mouth.
Viognier is a wine for all those desperately seeking a white wint with character, including the ABCers (anything but Chardonnay).
Viognier is well known for its aromas of apricot, peach, spices and flowers, coupled with an alcohol content slightly higher than other dry whites.
Petit Verdot is a historical variety from Medoc, with a strong personality. The great Châteaux of Bordeaux use its flavours and aromas in small quantities, as if it were an essence, in order to produce their best bottles.
It is a well rounded variety, it has colour, it is powerful, tannic and, aromatically, its spicy notes are reminiscent of Syrah. It is very tasty but it requires lots of care in its cultivation.
When harvested very ripe it becomes a wildcard for the winemaker and, used in small proportions (5-10%) because of its strong personality, it is able to deeply alter the taste of the mixture. It is used because of its intensity, tannic structure and aromatic strength that is marked by notes of violet.
It is a variety long cycle variety, late-maturing and very productive.
Cabernet Franc is the ancestor of Cabernet Sauvignon, in the mixture it brings its roundness, its aromatic finesse and its vivacity. It is a balance between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and the best partner for these two major varieties.
Cabernet Franc is distinguish by its aromatic finesse, its spicy aromas, its solid structure and its ability for ageing. It has both a fruity and sweet-toothed character.
It is a fairly early variety in that it matures fast, and has a low yield.