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Tour Vin Reviews 9 Napa Valley Grape Varietals to Enhance Wine Tasting

March 1, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Tour Vin, Napa Valley Concierge, reviews 9 grape varietals produced in the Napa Valley region to ensure a complete wine tasting experience.

By knowing what to expect, when entertaining new tastes and flavors, can enhance the overall experience when tasting new wines. Tour Vin states that, “Each grape variety has its own personality and history that produces unique flavors that beg to be explored”.

The general warm, dry climate of Napa suits the Cabernet grape varietal very well while the chardonnay grape variety continues to gI_87369_edproduce the most popular white wine from the region by a good margin. These popular wines continue to be produced from the most prolific plants in Napa Valley yet there are 7 other varietals that should be included to round out the full spectrum of flavor Napa Valley has to offer.

1.    Cabernet Sauvignon: Widely known as the king of the red grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for 40% of total wine production in Napa Valley. Flavors include currant, black fruits, cherry, plum and oak from the barrel. Young wines can be fruit forward, while older wines become more “earthy and woody”

2.    Chardonnay: Some of the best Chardonnay is produces in the Los Carneros appellation due to the cooler climate. Depending on the wine making process, chardonnay can be big, oaky and buttery or fresh and crisp Barrel fermentation or malolactic fermentation will have a profound influence on the taste of the wine.

3.    Merlot: Merlot has been a staple in the valley since the 70’s but it has taken a while for winemakers to refine the process to create a very silky wine. Over the years, aromas of cherry and earthy characteristics have enhanced the wines popularity. Depending on the vineyard site, Merlot can either be full bodied or lighter on the palate.

4.    Pinot Noir: A difficult grape to grow that yields extraordinary taste. The Russian River Valley and the Los Carneros region produce excellent wine. The skins are thin, so to encourage extra color the grape goes through a cold soak to develop a deeper color. This wine pairs well with many foods.

5.    Sauvignon Blanc: Intense grassy, fruit flavor, and acidity provide a great match with many foods. Fermentation is usually in stainless steel and, or “concrete eggs”. Sometimes Fume Blanc is fermented in aged oak barrels for flavor enhancement.

6.    Zinfandel (Red): A rich wine with hints of “jammy flavors”, spice and pepper. Old vines in Napa Valley can be 100 years old and still produce excellent wines. The perfect complement to the summer BBQ.
7.    Cabernet Franc: In Bordeaux, this grape is usually used in a blend. It is Light bodied, but can be big and bold as well. Its parent is the cabernet sauvignon grape

8.    Syrah: A spicy, powerful red wine that can age for many years. Depending on the climate and soil conditions, the wine will exhibit different aromas and flavors. Cooler sites will bring out fruit and earthy tones, warm climate more spice and “jammy flavors”

9.    Petite Sirah: Unbeknownst to many this is not a variation of the Syrah grape. Small berries and lots of juice, produce dense, dark wines. Sometimes you may taste a hint of chocolate when tasting this wine.

Napa Valley is one of the best wine growing regions in the world. Tour Vin states that “Embracing the 9 main varietals produced in this region will ensure a complete tasting experience full of flavors not to be forgotten”. The Tour Vin is a Napa Valley concierge service specializing in creating custom winery tours based on your individual preferences.

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