16 February 2017
Today Yvonne (one of my fellow diploma classmates) and I have organised a tasting of aromatic white wines for our friends.
What we normally called Aromatic Wines are those in which the aromas and flavours of the specific grape variety are the dominant characteristic. Riesling falls very much into this category, as do Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Muscat and a number of less widespread varieties such as Albariño, Torrontés and Fiano. Some people class Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc as aromatic, while others argue that this depends on the country or region in which they were made. Some are, some aren’t. Some people group such grapes as Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio as “semi-aromatic”. Most of such wines are known for vibrant fruit flavours such as citrus, apple, pear, apricot and mango, as well as strong aromas of flowers and spice. They can be floral and fruity or herbal and mineral. Interestingly, when tasting these wines blind, in order to tell which is which, it is their structure and texture which give you more clues. Albariño, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Torrentés, Verdejo have comparatively high nervy acidity, whereas Gewürztraminer, Muscat (aka Moscato) and Viognier have lower acidity and give a viscous or oily texture. Since the flavour and aromas of aromatics wines are those of the grape, oak is rarely used in making such wines. They tend to be fermented in stainless steel or other neutral containers at cooler temperatures so the primary aromas of the fruit are preserved. It is researched that aromatic white wines naturally have higher levels of a compound group called monoterpenes, which produce aromas of flowers and sweet stone fruits (apricots, peaches, honey and rose). It is the same chemical compound that are responsible for all those delicious aromas of rose, geranium, orange flower, and more. References: