Skip to main content

I'm wondering if there are easily identifiable traits that different varietals possess. A couple of years ago I pretty much assumed that I could tell a Sauvignon Blanc from any other varietal, when I tried one that, to me, was very unexpected (but delicious), and closer to some Chardonnays that I'd had (Kalin Cellars 1992 S. Blanc).

I often wonder if a seasoned taster can really tell if a Zin is a Zin, and isn't tricked on occasion into thinking it's a Syrah or Cab.

Perhaps the traits become as clear as the differences between a lemon and a grapefruit, maybe not.

Maybe this has been covered elsewwhere, but could someone break down some things to look for in diff. varietals that make them unique from other grapes?

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I often confuse a lemon and a grapefruit. I think it's because they're both yellow.

Anyway, check out this link

Within the lengthy descriptions of the grapes themselves there are tasting notes specific to the different varietals.

And, with reference to one of your questions, this was in their description of Zinfandel:

"Zinfandel is one red varietal that is probably best enjoyed in its youth, within three to five years of the vintage. With more bottle age than this, the luscious fruit that distinguishes Zinfandel drops markedly and the wine can show a pronounced "hot" taste of higher alcohol levels and become more neutrally vinous. It is sometimes hard even for experienced tasters to pick an older Zinfandel from among similar-aged Cabernet Sauvignon, for instance (not that there's anything wrong with that)."

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.