The next impression is of the character of the fruit. Fruit character is pronounced in some wines and weak in others. A young wine of high quality may not show a pronounced fruit character in its youth due to the need to “open up,” while others will be very “forward” or aromatic even in their youth. This is a function partly of climate, and wines from a warmer climate show better at an earlier age.
Several aspects contribute to fruit character. The first is the actual fruit component. While it is not strictly necessary to identify a particular fruit--after all, this is a subjective association--certain grapes are often identified by the same descriptors.
Thus Cabernet is often described as having a ‘blackcurrant’ aroma, Merlot as having a ‘plum’ aroma, Cabernet Franc as having a ‘floral (violet)’ aroma, Pinot as having a ‘cherry’ aroma, Riesling as having a ‘floral and peach’ aroma, Semillon as having a ‘fig’ aroma and Chardonnay as having a ‘tropical’ aroma when grown in warm climates and a ‘citrus and green apple’ aroma when grown in cool climates. There are many other examples, such as rosewater for Gewurztraminer, and new conventions develop as new grapes become trendy, such as ‘white pepper’ for Gruner Veltliner and ‘honeysuckle’ for Viognier.
[Link to this Entry]