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Climate and Flavor II

Written by Tynan Szvetecz
Filed Under: Wine Growing

The editors of SavorEachGlass.com were recently presented a white wine for a blind tasting.

On observing the color, we noted that it was a deeper yellow, flirting with golden, with the slightest hint of green. Hints of green immediately indicate a cooler climate wine, with vegetle tones or perhaps apple/pear flavors within. A quick swirl revealed quite a body, suggesting the obvious culprit: the Chardonnay grape.

A quick sniff hit us like a train as a bold peach flavor presented itself, followed by hints of green things (asparagus?). Right away, the above flavor chart suggests a moderate climate wine, confirmed by both the peach flavor and the green undertones. The taste confirmed this, presenting bold peachiness and with a well-rounded tangy acidity –another hallmark of cool to moderate climate white wines.

The boldness of the peach in the scent and the flavor suggested right away a new world wine. However, the tangy acidity and flavor of peach suggested that, despite a new world straight-forwardness, the wine was from a cooler climate. That means either a vineyard on the coast or of altitude. Our initial observations pointed toward a Chardonnay either from a coastal region or highland region of Australia or South America. Indeed, the mystery wine was determined to be from a well-known vineyard on the coast of Argentina.

Digging Deeper: Flavor and Climate II

Our exploration so far yielded two key principles: the first, observed through our analysis of the old world vs the new world, tells us that a wine that is bolder is more likely to be from the new world (i.e. South America, United States, Australia), whereas a wine that is more subtle and earthy is more likely to be from the old world (i.e. France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Eastern Europe).

Our second observation discussed in climate and flavor I detailed that through simply noting a wine\'s body and acidity, we could determine if it was from a warmer climate or a cooler climate.

Observing Body and Acidity drastically narrows our playing field when attempting to identify a wine's region of origin. But now, we can take it a bit further by using climate to hone in on a wine's specific flavors and scents.